Posts Tagged St. Joseph

A Lack of Affordable Childcare is a Challenge for Working Families

Why Affordable Childcare is Critical for Our Community

jumpFinding affordable childcare is one of the biggest challenges for working adults in the United States. While a few decades ago it was possible for one parent to stay home full-time to be with young children, today it is increasingly difficult for families to make ends meet on one income.

There are many reasons why providing affordable childcare has been a frequent conversation topic in recent years, but here are a few of the difficulties that parents face when making tough decisions about childcare:

The stay-at-home parent sacrifices income and opportunities. One choice for families is to have one parent stay home with young children until they are ready to go to kindergarten. This carries one obvious difficulty in its significant reduction of income for the family.

It also has some subtle disadvantages that can impact the stay-at-home parent and the ability of the family to thrive. A stay-at-home parent significantly reduces their lifetime income opportunities, as well as sacrificing opportunities for career development and promotions as they care for children. They also reduce the amount of money they have contributed to Social Security, allowing them to receive less when they reach retirement age.

Childcare costs are one of the largest expenses for working families and is extremely challenging for young single mothers. Parents paying out-of-pocket for childcare in order for both parents to stay in the workforce often face a shocking price for quality care. In nearly all states, childcare costs exceeded the average rent payment. Childcare ate up more than 10 percent of a family’s income, and it increased to about one-quarter of a family’s income when including only single mothers.

Young mothers face even larger challenges, particularly those trying to finalize a degree program after having children. Mothers under the age of 25 generally earn less than their older counterparts, too, so their total childcare costs can account for one-third of their earnings. Mothers living below the poverty line may spend up to 42 percent of their income on childcare, making it difficult to use employment as a stepping stone out of poverty.

Federal and state funded programs are not widely available. The third option, taking advantage of federal and state programs that fund preschool programs, is a great idea. However, there is little available for those families that cannot afford to lose one breadwinner’s income.

Only about 22 percent of low income families receive federally subsidized care. While there has been an increase in preschool participation across the country in recent years, low-income families are the least likely to participate. Forty percent are not enrolled in preschool at all.

The importance of high-quality affordable childcare is felt by families across the country and in our community. To learn more about affordable childcare in the St. Joseph area, give us a call today. We help women in transition connect with the services they need to thrive.

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YWCA Observes Crime Victims’ Rights Week

2017 Crime Victims’ Rights Week Planned for April 2-8

crime victims' rightsEvery year in April, the St. Joseph community sets aside one week to observe crime victims’ rights with a Crime Victims’ Rights Week. This year, the event will take place April 2 – 8, designated by the Office for Victims of Crime.

The theme of this year’s event is STRENGTH, RESILIENCE, JUSTICE. The YWCA will join other community partners in hosting special programs to raise awareness about crime victims’ rights, as well as providing access to the important resources and services available to victims. The event is coordinated by the Office for Victims of Crime (OVC), which is a part of the U.S. Department of Justice. One of its purposes is to lead the country each year in a community-level observance of National Crime Victims’ Rights Week. During this observance, victims’ rights are promoted and their experiences are honored.

This year’s theme of STRENGTH, RESILIENCE, JUSTICE, was chosen for its emphasis on the importance of multidisciplinary responses and building the capacity of individuals, service providers and communities. These groups are critical for responding to crime and supporting the ongoing healing of victims and survivors.

The theme was also chosen as a way to support OVC’s Vision 21 Initiative to encourage research, focus on emerging issues and increase the capacity of service organizations for victims through the improvement of technology and training use for this purpose.

One out of every five women will be raped in her lifetime, according to the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey, conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Despite the prevalence of the crime, there is continued tolerance for behaviors that serve to normalize sexual assault.

One problem is the persistence of outdated ideas about what “counts” as sexual assault or harassment, and how a victim should respond, or how long it should take them to recover from the experience. These attitudes prevent progress and can be dangerous, creating barriers to justice and don’t allow victims to be heard.

In recent years, colleges and workplaces have made advances in addressing sexual assault in their environments. However, for children, elders, men and persons with disabilities, there remain few vehicles for reporting sexual assault or other abuse. A common barrier for victims is the presence of a trusted person that will believe them.

Many victims experience further trauma when they tell a friend or family member, file a report with law enforcement or engage in an investigation. For many victims, the criminal justice system provides little comfort, causing them to question whether their experience is worth reporting to the authorities.

Join the St. Joseph YWCA in honoring crime victims’ rights April 2 – 8. To learn more and get involved, visit the YWCA website today.

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“Through These Doors” Video Introduces the Vision of the YWCA and the Services Offered to Women and Children in Our Community

jump-thumbnailThe YWCA offers a place of respite, a vision of hope and a way to connect for hundreds of women in the St. Joseph area every week. Through a variety of programs and initiatives, women are equipped to live their lives without fear of the future.

The YWCA provides a variety of services to the women and children of the St. Joseph area. Some are designed to assist families in crisis, while others serve as a powerful tool for growth and achievement for a bright future. We have created a new video to highlight these important services and a few of the ways the YWCA is serving the community to empower women and eliminate racism through:

Victim Services is a group of programs created to help women facing a crisis. The Shelter for Abused and Homeless Women and Children, rape counseling and the Bliss Manor House are all offered as solutions for women that need immediate help to escape a dangerous living situation or recover from a sexual assault. Here, women and their children receive a variety of services, from court advocacy to support groups and life skills training.

JUMP supports teen moms as they work to make healthy choices for themselves and their little ones. This program provides not only encouragement, information and resources, but also the camaraderie of a group of moms with similar challenges and circumstances. Each teen mom is guided by a mentor, receiving educational support both in a group setting and with home visits.

Women of Excellence is a program that celebrates the important contribution that women make to the thriving community in the St. Joseph area. Each year, the Women of Excellence luncheon takes time to honor selected women for their involvement and support of the community.

These are a few of the ways that the YWCA is making a lasting impact on the women of the St. Joseph area. To learn more about what happens at the YWCA, take a look at our new video, entitled, “Through These Doors.”

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The YWCA Fulfills its Mission With the Help of Businesses in Our Community

Support The YWCA in Style at the Spring Trunk Show; Kick off Women’s History Month in Style

img_3841One of the things that makes our community great is that we get to work alongside locally-owned businesses that support our mission. One of those businesses, Dr. Rosenak’s Optical Options, is offering a fun spring event called a Trunk Show. A portion of sales will be designated to the YWCA in honor of Women’s History Month. Not only can you shop local and find a new, stylish look for spring, but you’ll support the YWCA Women’s Shelter, too!

This fun event will be:

  • Thursday March 2, from 3-7 p.m.  (view event flyer)
  • Located at Dr. Rosenak’s Optical Options
  • Fun for the whole family

The Spring Trunk Show is in honor of Women’s History Month, and will offer an opportunity to experience a special exhibit featuring the YWCA Women’s Shelter.

The Spring Trunk Show offers exclusive gifts and fun including:

  • View new and exclusive lines of designer sunglasses and eyewear styles
  • Giveaways, including lenses, frames and one pair of Ray Ban sunglasses
  • A chance to sample local products from Rodan + Fields, Lipsense and Under the Zigba Tree – a fair trade business that helps support women and children who are victims of human trafficking
  • Receive a free goodie bag, while supplies last
  • Refreshments served
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  • Special Trunk Show discounts (read more here).

Appointments are available during the Spring Trunk Show, so book yours today! Or, grab your girlfriends and come over to enjoy the party together. Enjoy some refreshments, try on those frames you’ve been eyeing and slip into the photo booth to debut your new spring look — all in the name of a great cause.

To learn more, visit the YWCA website. A special thanks to Dr. Rosenak’s Optical Options and all our corporate partners who help support the YWCA.

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“Bras for a Cause” Event Set to Raise Awareness for the Fight Against Breast Cancer … (Through one Unique and Memorable Evening)

“Bras for a Cause” Event Set to Raise Awareness for the Fight Against Breast Cancer … (Through one Unique and Memorable Evening)

Each day at the YWCA, we endeavor to empower women, eliminate racism and promote dignity. Each of our programs and events are designed to help us meet our goals and fulfill our mission. Our upcoming Bras for a Cause event is just one example of how we look for creative ways to achieve our vision. Read on for details about this exciting and unique event!

Make plans now to watch approximately 40 local men take to the “runway” wearing specially-decorated bras (over their shirts, of course) on Saturday February 4 at 7:00 p.m. at the Paradox Theater. Each bra boasts a memorable theme and was decorated by local organizations or businesses earlier in the fall as part of an ENCOREplus initiative. Bras for a Cause is the premier fashion show for these creations, and a perfect night out full of laughs (in the name of a great cause). Tickets are $5 each at the door on the night of the event. HyVee will provide snacks and The Tiger’s Den will offer a cash bar.

Bras featured in the show offer whimsical design motifs such as the camel-themed bra called “Check Your Humps for Lumps!” and a baseball themed bra titled “Save Second Base.” Men from our community – and some you may likely recognize – have volunteered to model these creations. Each one will be featured in a silent auction during the event, with funds going toward the ENCOREplus breast cancer awareness and education program.

Through ENCOREplus we offer community education, referrals toward receiving mammography and guidance in accessing financial assistance when necessary. Empowering women means giving them the tools to take charge of their health concerns, and we’ll even provide transportation to appointments when that is an obstacle to breast care.
Our Bras for a Cause event promises laugher and fun, but also the knowledge that you are truly doing something to empower the women in our community. We encourage you to grab your girlfriends, your office mates – anyone – and come join us on Saturday February 4 as we enjoy a comical fashion show and auction. At the YWCA we meet the mission of empowering women on a daily basis. Please come join us for some fun as we wage a serious fight against breast cancer.

Join us Saturday, February 4, at 7:00 p.m. at the Paradox Theater, 107 S. 6th Street in St. Joseph!

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Help for Rape Victims When You Don’t Know What to Do:

Help for Rape Victims When You Don’t Know What to Do:

What You Can do to Provide Help for Rape Victims

No woman ever imagines they or someone close to them will be involved in a rape crisis, also called sexual assault. It’s in the news and on the minds of women who feel vulnerable and yet, when it happens, most of us don’t have any idea how to respond. There are critical things you can do to help in the immediate aftermath of rape. Here are a few ways you can offer support and help for rape victims:

Believe Her Story

One of the first things a victim of rape or sexual violence needs is someone who will believe her story. Because of the nature of the crime and the fact that so many instances go unreported, it is difficult to offer up hard statistics – but most experts feel that only 20 percent of actual rape cases are ever reported to authorities. One reason for the enormous gap between occurrences and reporting is a woman’s fear that she will not be believed.

Listen to whatever the victim is willing to share with you and write down the facts as she reports them to you. Avoid any form of judgment as you listen. In offering help for rape victims, the importance of belief in her story is hard to overestimate.

Get Her Medical Attention

A victim of rape is likely still in shock when she recounts her experience. She may not know whether or not she has been harmed. You will be doing the victim a tremendous service by getting her immediate medical attention. A medical exam will help her in several ways. First of all, it will provide clear evidence for her case against the rapist. Secondly, it will determine if medical treatment is needed and may help protect her against any possible sexually transmitted disease.

Seek Ongoing Counseling and Offer Support Throughout

A victim will experience negative thoughts about themselves and others in the succeeding weeks and months. Your patient and affirming presence is invaluable. So, too, is the help of a trained expert or counselor. Victims may not know how to identify or verbalize their inner turmoil but a counselor can gently bring issues to light and help the person work through them over time.

Immediate Resources

Sometimes, in the days following rape, a victim needs a safe place to stay. At the St. Joseph YWCA we offer no-cost shelter, food and even clothing to meet those immediate needs. We can provide transportation to the hospital for an exam or to the police station to file a report. If you want to know more about how you can offer help for rape victims, contact us at 232-4481.

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Thank You for Supporting Our Mission at the YWCA

Thank You for Supporting Our Mission at the YWCA

Your Gifts to the YWCA Create Hope on a Daily Basis

“This time was different. I made a decision, and I decided I had to make a change in my life. I am so happy of where I am today.”

“I finally put myself through counseling, after telling myself that I didn’t need it. Carrie managed to convince me that I did, and she was right. After counseling, I felt a lot better about my situation and where I was. Every day is still really hard, but I’m learning to deal. And every time I need her, Carrie is there — just a phone call away.”

Our mission at the YWCA is to eliminate racism, empower women, stand up for social justice, help families and strengthen communities. Your service, attendance, advocacy and gifts help keep doors to our services open all year long. We’d like to share with you how your dollars are spent and the importance of giving to the YWCA.

Your dollars go toward providing safe, cost-free housing to women and children in crisis.
The doors to our shelter are open all day, every day. We provide women and children with a way out of domestic violence. We offer short-term and longer-term housing depending upon the individual need. One night of shelter for a mom and kids costs $35. Two weeks of housing will cost approximately $500. On any given day we are typically providing safe haven for 46 women and children.

Your dollars also go toward providing a 24-hour hotline where anyone can call and receive counsel for themselves or loved ones. The hope which comes with knowing that you are not alone and that others are there for you is priceless. Community donations make it possible for us to share that hope day-in and day-out.

Dollars also go toward victim advocacy services.
Many times women have no idea what their next step should be. They don’t know what resources are available to them. Professional counseling and advocacy services are an important step in rebuilding a life. We offer these services on a daily basis.
Every donation opens a new door to hope for a woman and her children who depend on the YWCA – and every donation of $100 or more receives a 50 percent State tax credit. This means that 50 percent of your donation is deducted directly from your State taxes owed.

We thank you for standing with us in accomplishing our mission every day of the year … and for helping us create a path toward hope.

 

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The Critical Issue of Childcare for Working Parents, Single Parents and Grandparents

The Critical Issue of Childcare for Working Parents, Single Parents and Grandparents

YWCA Offers Valuable, Professional Childcare Resource in Our Community

Today, the majority of families with two parents are now two-income households, with more than 70 percent of moms heading out to work each day. Studies also show that one out of four children in America today under the age of 18 are being raised by a single mother. Many dads are raising children on their own, as well. PEW research says there are more than 2.6 million U.S. households led by a single father, a ninefold increase from 1960.

For these parents – and many grandparents who are now raising grandchildren – having access to quality childcare is crucial. It’s also critical for families who want to offer the best start possible to their children while they return to school to improve their job situation.

The prohibitive cost of childcare keeps some parents out of the workplace, and at times, problems with childcare can put a parent’s education and work goals at risk.

If you examine childcare in strictly economic terms, you may discover the following:

  • Over 45 percent of American families with kids under age five are making childcare payments.
  • The average weekly cost of childcare is around $180.
  • Close to nine percent of the average family’s monthly income is spent on childcare.
  • The percentage of income spent on childcare increases as the mother’s age decreases (a mother under age 25 will spend 33 percent of wages on childcare).
  • For a single mother, childcare is often their highest monthly expense.
  • For moms at or below the poverty line, childcare costs can take up as much as 42 percent of their monthly earnings.

At the YWCA, we offer quality, licensed childcare and we accept state pay as well as private pay. We partner with the state of Missouri in offering dependable and certified childcare services at an affordable rate. The YWCA Discovery Child Care program is a partner with Early Head Start and families can apply at Community Action Partnership for children birth to 3 years old. Some families with children ages zero to two years old can access quality child care at no charge.

The YWCA Discovery Child Care program offers experienced, trained staff; a licensed facility; a playground; several learning tools; and learning opportunities for parents throughout the year. For a tour or more information, call Child Care Director Lisa Puett at 232-4481 or email lpuett@ywcasj.org.

 

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Worldwide Week Without Violence is October 17-21

Worldwide Week Without Violence is October 17-21

Bringing Awareness to Domestic Violence During National Week Without Violence

One-quarter of all women are touched by domestic violence, and as many as 20 percent will experience sexual assault in their life. This problem is the springboard for a worldwide Week Without Violence, a time set aside to bring awareness to the critical need to end violence against women.

While the largest statistics focus on domestic partner violence against women, there are other forms of violence impacting women today. Sexual assault is a crime that often goes under-reported as well as under-prosecuted. Consider too, the number of women and young girls trapped in human trafficking and the scope of violence against women begins to take shape as a staggering issue that demands attention and action. Young girls, women of color and those with disabilities face the greatest vulnerability. The Week Without Violence campaign helps recognize these critical issues.
 
The YWCA joins hands with partners around the globe during the third week of October to draw attention to this issue and to encourage work toward ending violence against women. This year, the St. Joseph YWCA will sponsor efforts to increase awareness, improve supports for survivors and help to sharpen the skills of law enforcement in dealing with issues of gender-based violence.

The community is invited to attend the Take Back the Night event on October 16 at 6 p.m. at the YWCA. Take Back the Night is an event to shed light on victims of domestic violence in our community and to remember victims that have passed away as a result of violence. Join us for a reading of the Domestic Violence Awareness Month Proclamation, the announcement of the Mary Jolly Award, an address made by the event’s speaker and a balloon release.
 
Events also include a one-day Week Without Violence conference hosted at MWSU. On October 17, a free morning session will be available to the public from 9 a.m.-12 p.m., offered for professionals that work with families and/or children. An afternoon session will be offered from 1 p.m. – 4 p.m. exclusively to law enforcement officers.

 

Contact the St. Joseph YWCA today and sign up for the Week Without Violence conference and to learn how you can help make a difference in the lives of women and families in our community.

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October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

 Get Involved With the YWCA in Promoting Breast Cancer Awareness

What’s so special about October? Many things, but especially the chance to share information that could save lives.

Breast Cancer Awareness Month occurs every October to help bring awareness to the disease. What can you do? Spread the word among friends and family that survival rates for those diagnosed with breast cancer are on the rise, thanks in large part to increased awareness. Early detection and education continue to make a significant difference in the fight against breast cancer, and it is important that each of us is involved in sharing information and reminders. Here are some basic facts and notes you can share:

The Facts About Breast Cancer

Breast cancer is the second most often diagnosed cancer among women right behind skin cancer. It is the second deadliest cancer for women following lung cancer. Roughly 200,000 women and 2,000 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year alone. Close to 40,000 of those diagnosed will die. Breast cancer will strike one of every eight American women at some juncture.

Advancements in Breast Cancer

Since 1990, the number of lives lost to breast cancer has been steadily declining. Experts attribute the drop in mortality rates to an increase in regular breast exams and early intervention. This fact serves as a reminder that early detection can make a life-saving difference – and a reminder of why Breast Cancer Awareness Month is of critical importance.

What Can You do to Take Part in Breast Cancer Awareness Month?

What can you do to take part in the effort to promote breast cancer awareness? Make sure that the women in your life perform regular self-exams and see their doctors for medical breast exams each year. You can also make breast cancer information available at your place of business or on your company website. The St. Joseph YWCA encourages area businesses to choose one day in October to wear pink in order to promote Breast Cancer Awareness. They call it their THINK PINK campaign. Any business who sends their picture of staff in pink will be promoted on the YWCA social media pages.

You can also make plans to attend of the upcoming breast cancer awareness events coordinated by the YWCA, such as the Pink Tea Luncheon on October 12 or the Ladies Night Out on October 28. Read more here: http://ywcasj.org/news-events/event-calendar/.

Through the ENCOREplus program, the YWCA provides free breast cancer prevention information to women across Northwest Missouri and helps them locate financial assistance and resources for mammograms. Start planning your October “Pink Day” now and be part of the winning fight against breast cancer by promoting breast cancer awareness.

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