UNSTOPPABLE: YWCA Services Continue
Dear YWCA Family,
One month ago, like most of you, I could have never imagined entire states and most of the country on lockdown. We would have never thought there would be scarcity of food and basic home necessities. And how could we have prepared for the enormous changes in our everyday lives as we now navigate working from home, learning at home and accepting social distancing as a new and necessary way of life?
Despite these unprecedented challenges, even a global pandemic could not stop YWCA's service to our community. Because of the work of our courageous and dedicated staff and supporters, we have removed barriers of distance, finances and connectivity to find real-time solutions that, in some cases, were a matter of life and death.
Our domestic violence shelter, always at capacity, continues to be a safe haven for survivors. Our crisis hotline is still staffed by local advocates 24 hours per day, seven days per week, to answer calls from community members experiencing violence at the hands of partners and others while isolated at home (614 calls in March alone). Our case advocates continue to assist with protective orders, case management, therapy, translation and connecting survivors to resources and assistance. The need continues to rise.
Just last week, a survivor we housed who had experienced decades of abuse and who was sleeping on floors and in her car was able to move into permanent supportive housing in just six short days from referral. Another survivor and her children in a very dangerous situation were permanently housed within 24 hours of her plea for help.
Women's Cancer Program, once heavily dependent on an overabundance of healthcare information and paperwork, combined ingenuity and hard work to ensure clients are served because we know cancer doesn't take a break. While many medical providers have suspended screening and wellness appointments, most are still providing diagnostic services. Last week this team worked together to ensure a teenager with a suspected cancer diagnosis received immediate service. By connecting resources, providing translation services and offering financial assistance, this young person and their family were supported and reassured.
Endless stories abound among our team who are stepping up to meet new challenges head-on and to take on additional responsibilities that cross the boundaries of departments and job descriptions. Despite antiquated technology, our team has adapted to rolling schedules designed to mitigate virus spread. They're finding workarounds to keep YWCA going -- financially, programmatically, physically. Read the Mission Moment to learn more about our operations and the measures we are taking.
Funders have released restrictions and we have received support from our friends, but we are still apprehensive about the long-term effects of this pandemic and we continue to need your help. Still we press on.
Although our buildings are closed to visitors, our hearts and hands continue to be wide open for our community. We look forward to the time when we can all be together again.
President & CEO
Attitude of Gratitude
These are uncertain times for all of us, and we want to take a moment to thank some very special supporters who continue to show up for YWCA, and our clients, by supporting the important work we do in the community.
- The folks from Local 157 Plumbers & Steamfitters generously donated their time to replace the sink faucets in YWCA's locker room in order to help us continue to promote good hand hygiene in our buildings. Thank you Steve! You can reach Local 157 Plumbers & Steamfitters at 765.477.7092 or online at https://ualocal157.org/
- McKinzie Foods KFC is donating 40 pieces of chicken with all the fixins' for the residents in our emergency shelter each Friday for the next month! Henry, and his team, at the KFC on State Road 26 have worked out a no-contact pick up in order to supply some delicious comfort food to our residents in these stressful times.
- Rabbi Mike Harvey, from Temple Israel, donated a full carload of baby items, clothing and accessories directly to a client in one of our housing programs who is expecting. Thank you for organizing this effort to meet the needs of our clients! While YWCA is not directly handing donations not on our immediate needs list, we are thrilled to connect community members in need with those who are able to help!
Safety is our Priority
YWCA is taking every precaution to keep our staff and clients healthy and safe, while still keeping essential services running smoothly as we navigate the challenges of operating during a global pandemic. Currently, all YWCA facilities are closed to outside visitors for any reason and only essential staff personnel are working inside the buildings, with limited access to a single building each in order to reduce potential contact points.
Essential staff teams have split into groups to allow portions of the staff at least two weeks to self-isolate at home in between the weeks they are assigned to work on-site. This measure is also in place to reduce exposure to staff as a whole.
Voicemail messages to YWCA's main phone line, 765-742-0075, will be directed remotely to the appropriate staff members. Inquiries may also be sent to our organization email, firstname.lastname@example.org.
YWCA in the News
- YWCA opens Persimmon Boutique, providing professional clothing to survivors of domestic violence. Learn more >>
- YWCA prepares for more domestic violence to increase. Learn more >>
- Prosecutor forms Tippecanoe County's first Sexual Assault Response Team. Learn more >>