I had no idea.
I must have driven past the YWCA on Park Road 500 times. Never stopped by, until last Friday.
Now I know what’s there.
It’s easy to live in your personal Charlotte bubble. How do I know? Because I’m guilty of it. I could and largely have lived a Charlotte existence where my idea of a hard decision was which of the 5 Harris Teeters within a 2 mile radius of my house I should visit. Pathetic.
I’m challenging each of you (and myself) to get out of your Charlotte bubble.
On a Friday afternoon, I got a tour of the YWCA from Marianne (Director of Donations) and Matt (Director of Marketing). Both were Davidson grads and they had excellent chatter. To be honest, I didn’t do any research before the tour and thought I was going to just be snapping photos of a fitness facility and pool to write a quick story on “5 pool tips to beat the heat.” Wrong.
The YWCA exists to “eliminate racism, empower women and promote peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all.” Respect.
So, what is the YWCA?
The best way I can describe it is the collection of 4 different programs.
(1) YWCA is a fitness center and pool. They have a bunch of exercise classes and more to promote healthy living. Huge gym. Spin studio. Indoor pool. Triathlon training group (YDub Tri Club). Swim team (Orange Crush).
(2) YWCA is a youth learning center. Serves approximately 360 children in grades K-5 across the county. 66% of children in this program improve their reading level by a minimum of four months.
(3) YWCA is a transitional housing and support service for homeless families. Over the past 3 years, 100% of the Families Together Program participants moved into permanent housing at program exit. Houses are behind the main building and the YWCA provides a mix of financial, health, career and parenting workshops to these families.
(4) YWCA is a transitional housing and support service for women. Serves over 100 at-risk women each year. 85% of women that participate in the Women in Transition Program for a minimum of 4 months enter some type of permanent housing upon program exit. Women have access to a mix of financial, health, career and parenting workshops.
Get out of the bubble.