YWCA Marks 130 Years of Empowering Women and Eliminating Racism
A special milestone is being commemorated at the YWCA St. Joseph, with 130 years of service aimed at empowering women and eliminating racism. While enjoying the celebration this year, the YWCA St. Joseph also wants to stop for a moment and reflect on the impact that such service makes on individuals that receive help from the YWCA.
Looking back on 2017, you can catch a glimpse of the work that’s being done to assist women and children, as well as continuing the legacy that each generation has carried throughout 130 years. Take a look at the ways that the YWCA St. Joseph staff and volunteers have served in 2017:
Victim Services includes the YWCA Shelter, Survivor Support and Bliss Manor Supported Housing Program. This year, the Victim Services Team:
- Provided 1,769 individual therapy sessions, advocacy services to 437 survivors and as a result of these services, 97% of participants reported feeling more hopeful about the future.
- Provided shelter to 229 women and 185 children, with a total of 16,880 nights of shelter.
- As a result of contact with the Shelter, 90% of participants had improved strategies for enhancing their safety and also gained a better knowledge of community resources.
- Of individuals exiting the Bliss Manor Housing Program, 94% were able to move to a private, permanent housing situation or entered a treatment facility.
Women’s and Teen Resources
Healthy Teen Parents/Healthy Babies
The Healthy Teen Parents/Healthy Babies program provides mentoring and support to teen parents as they navigate decisions, encouraging them to embrace healthy parenting, set goals and build a community of mutual support. In 2017 the program:
- Provided services to 45 teens and 47 children.
- Matched 55% of teens with an adult mentor.
- Conducted 284 home visits.
ENCOREplus supports awareness and education surrounding breast health for women in the community, helping to remove common barriers that may prevent a woman from having an annual mammogram. Efforts with ENCOREplus focus on education, community outreach and providing access to resources and community events designed to raise awareness. In 2017 the ENCOREplus team:
- Helped coordinate 463 mammograms
- Helped coordinate 1,200 clinical breast exams
- Held a variety of events, including the Bling a Bra Contest, Think Pink Campaign, Lunch & Learns, and more
CHOICES and DECISIONS
The CHOICES and DECISIONS programs are designed to mentor and support at-risk adolescent girls and boys, respectively, through a partnership with Missouri Western State University Athletics. The group works through a curriculum designed to equip adolescents for lifelong, healthy decision-making with the encouragement of a college-age mentor. In 2017, the CHOICES and DECISIONS programs:
- Served 221 seventh grade girls and boys at four St. Joseph public middle schools.
- There were 64 mentors involved from MWSU women’s cross country, soccer, softball, track and volleyball teams.
- There were 30 mentors involved from MWSU men’s baseball, cross country, and track teams.
Early Care and Education
The YWCA St. Joseph offers licensed child care in order to allow parents who are employed, or who are seeking education in order to improve employment opportunities, to place their child in a positive care environment. In 2017, the YWCA Discovery Child Care:
- Provided child care to 60 children from the St. Joseph community.
Child and Adult Care Food Program
The YWCA administers the USDA’s Child and Adult Care Food Program to provide healthy meals and snacks to children in home-based care in the St. Joseph area. In 2017 the Child and Adult Food Care Program:
- Administered 324,328 meals provided to children in 55 home-based care providers across 21 counties.
- Of those meals, 99 percent met the nutrition guidelines and qualified for financial reimbursement to the provider, and all 52 providers attended an annual training event.
In 2017, the staff and volunteers of the YWCA St. Joseph were proud to continue the legacy of those that came before us, working to empower women and eliminate racism in our community. Please join us! No matter what your schedule or skill set, you can get involved with us at the YWCA.