The Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA) is transforming its means of delivering emergency shelter to women and children escaping violent homes; providing a broader escape route to hundreds of victims each year. All due in large part to a $100, erectile 000 grant received from impact 100. “Winning this competitive grant means we will be able to reach a new audience of women in need, viagra ” said Linda S. Tissiere, clinic executive director of the YWCA. “We know there are women right now who don’t have access to safe homes, but who elect not to utilize our housing services because they would never go into a communal shelter. This grant eliminates that concern.”
In partnership with the Better Housing Coalition, the YWCA will be able to provide victims with private apartment residences rather than communal settings, effective June 1, 2013. Women and their dependent children looking for housing services from the YWCA will not have to seek residence at YW’s communal shelter in the City of Richmond that houses up to 30 individuals. Instead, they will move into furnished, private apartments owned and operated by the Better Housing Coalition. The YWCA will continue to provide families with case management, counseling, and access to programs to aid victims on their journey to recovery.
The YWCA opened its first communal shelter in 1980 and has served hundreds of women and children annually each year. However, over time the YWCA has found the communal shelters to be a deterrent at times, “Over the years, we’ve seen the shelter itself become a barrier to success,” said Rebecca D. Lee, chief program officer for the YWCA. “Private spaces will allow our clients to retain their autonomy, make their own decisions, keep their families together, and sets them up for sustainable success.”
Mary Kay Huss, vice president of asset management for the Better Housing Coalition, had this to say, “A big part of our mission is changing lives, and safe, affordable housing is the platform to stabilize lives and spark the change. We applaud the YWCA’s forward-thinking plan and are proud to serve women in need through this program.”
The shift from communal to private sheltering has been part of the YWCA’s strategic planning for the past three years. Extended studies, in conjunction with practices from similar programs in Washington D.C. and the West Coast, supported the justification for a new housing model. In 2010, the YWCA initiated the Domestic Violence Housing Model Task Force with other area service providers, survivors, first responders, funders, and housing specialists. The result of that Task Force led the YWCA to offer and expand housing options, but the growth was slow as funding became available.
“This grant is a game-changer for us,” explained Tissiere. “We knew this was the way our services needed to evolve, and we were always pushing for that change, but we could only move as quickly as funding allowed. Impact 100 has made all the difference.”