Our Mission

​To Empower Individuals Who Face Barriers to Discover and Reach Their Potential Through Education, Counseling, Social Services, Long-Term Support

Our Vision

W.A.V.E. is a worldwide ministry that empowers and changes the mindset and long-term well-being of individuals who have been afflicted by violence and trauma.

The purpose of WAVES is primarily to promote and enhance the personal well-being and health of individuals residing in subsidized housing in the greater Pittsburgh area who have experienced violence in their lives.

Our Programming

Social/Spiritual Empowerment

​Including topics such as: understanding the effects of trauma and post-traumatic stress; signs and symptoms of trauma; coping mechanisms for trauma; effective communication; conflict management; spiritual awareness; the role of spirituality; understanding womanhood; positive social conduct; how addiction affects your family; and positive behavioral management.​


Including topics such as: professionalism; job searches, resumes, and interviewing skills; the importance of economic self-sufficiency; pathways to entrepreneurship; how to obtain your General Equivalency Diploma (GED); vocational and technical college opportunities; financial aid; and the importance of developing a long-term educational plan.

Financial and Housing Literacy

Including topics such as: budgeting; savings and investing; becoming a homeowner; understanding and establishing credit, repairing damaged credit; steps to obtaining and maintaining permanent housing.

About the CEO

Charlise Smith is the Founding Executive Director of WAVE. There is no accident that the picture and name of this agency is Willissae’s Agency For Vision and Empowerment. Willissae was Charlise’s mother who was brutally murdered when she was a child. This was just the beginning of this organization’s conception and development over the years. It was also developed from her experience working in the low-income community for over 15 years. On October 23, 2012, when Charlise was a manager, a resident stabbed her five times because the resident was being evicted for non-payment of rent. This resident had severe mental health issues and non-payment of rent was the least of her worries.

Charlise saw people traumatized against hope, living in low-income communities. And somewhere in her own traumatized life, while she was receiving her own healing, she began to recognize the WAVE of HOPE that GOD sent to her. There had to be a balance between growing away from the traumatized fear and moving toward the success of a progressive life.

Despite her life experiences, Charlise has continued to work with persons with disabilities. She is the ultimate compassionate, successful business woman and serves the community in which there is the most need. She has been in the Real Estate industry for over 15 years. She holds an Associate Degree in Computer Management. She is a Real Estate Broker of Record in the State of Pennsylvania. She continued to develop her Real Estate Professionalism by receiving her Certified Occupancy Specialist (COS) Designation, Certified Credit Compliance Professional (C3P) Designation, and Public Housing Management Certification. Charlise’s experience living in low-income housing along with a personal family background with domestic violence gave her the desire to want to combine her life experience and business expertise to give back to the community in which she lives.