Stop driving by and start driving in. Inside look at the YWCA facility and mission

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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.

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The YWCA exists to “eliminate racism, empower women and promote peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all.” Respect.

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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).

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(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.

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(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.

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(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.

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How can you get involved? Join the 1902 Society (it’s a young affiliates thing). They have a low key Summer Picnic event on Saturday from 11 am – 1 pm, go.

Get out of the bubble.

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Ted Williams
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Publisher, golfer, dad and magician (seriously).