Winds of Agape (WOA) began in 1988, when Pastor Rick & Mrs. LaVerne Torrence organized a 20-member children's choir, as a way to teach youths how to become a positive force in the community. The WOA Children's Choir was formed on the east side neighborhood of Syracuse and began to sing at as many as 50 concerts per year at nursing homes, homeless shelters, hospitals, detention homes and correctional facilities. WOA volunteers also began to assist people of all ages and backgrounds suffering from personal hardships.
Winds of Agape, Inc. became established as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. WOA quickly grew, as more volunteers joined to support the cause. The Families in Crisis Program (FIC)was developed by collecting and distributing furniture and clothing to families in need. By 1992, WOA, in conjunction with the Food Bank of Central New York and tremendous volunteer effort, became one of the largest food distributors to the needy in the area, providing food to over 300 families in crisis each month. In 1996, WOA expanded by opening two family centers to meet the demand for the giveaways to those in need.
Overtime, WOA's Staff and Volunteers began to recognize an urgent need for job training and employment opportunities. In June of 1997, WOA became Syracuse's first independent community training program to receive certification from the New York State Department of Health, to train Certified Home Health Aides (CHHAs) and Personal Care Aides (PCAs).
On September 12, 2002, Winds of Agape Home Care Agency became licensed New York State Department of Health to provide home care positions for nurses and CHHAs. In 2003, WOA began a Social Adult Day Program, a center for individuals with Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs). As of 2004, WOA began to provide care for clients seeking to remain at home and avoid nursing home placement through the Nursing Home Transition and Diversion (NHTD) Waiver Program.
WOA has two sites located in Syracuse, New York, to provide services to communities of Central New York and throughout the nation. The WOA Office Headquarters is located at 1414 Grant Boulevard, including our training facility for First Aid, CPR, Home Health Aides and Personal Care Aides. The building located at 301 Lodi Street is the main distribution site for furniture and access to Advocacy Services for the FIC Program, as well as TEAM Agape Volunteer services.