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YWCA Richmond During COVID-19 – UPDATED

May 26, 2020

Our Mission Continues

We continue to adapt our practices to provide essential services, share resources, and keep our community members safe.  Our regional hotline for domestic and sexual violence remains open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by calling 804-612-6126.  Trained crisis counselors are available to assist survivors of violence with safety planning, intervention strategies, shelter for those in imminent danger, and free, live, confidential support.

Our dedicated employees continue to work remotely, finding innovative solutions to bring families into shelter and keep them safe once they are here.  With financial support from the community, we are using encrypted technology for tele-counseling.  We continue to listen to and respond to the growing and changing needs of survivors by buying food, clothes, or furniture, or removing barriers like an outstanding utility bill or security deposit as they move into a violence-free home.  Recently, a mother and child relocated from a hotel where we provided shelter for one night to a family member’s home.  In addition to tele-counseling, we supplied financial assistance for groceries and delivered a desk and air mattress so the survivor could continue to work from a safe, new home without job interruption.  Typically, we lean on partners to meet furniture and clothing needs, but we are not in typical times.

We are watching national and global trends and are prepared for a spike in domestic violence calls in our region as Governor Northam and localities lift stay-at-home orders in the coming days.  We plan to implement a talk/text line and partner with local grocery stores, like the Market at 25th Street, to increase awareness and re-imagine our future outreach programs.

We opened the YWCA Richmond Essential Childcare at our downtown location.  Today, we have 35 students enrolled, all of whom are children of essential personnel who are working tirelessly to protect the health, safety, and well-being of our region.  Financial support from our community provides full scholarships for all the students enrolled.  We continue to virtually engage and support our 140 Sprout School families daily by facilitating Zoom sessions and offering content on our YouTube channel.  Last week, our 3 and 4-year-olds from the Forest Room came together and wrote a story about dinosaurs in their Zoom morning “meeting.”

YWCA Richmond is on a mission to eliminate racism and empower women.  The global crisis we face has stressed our programming and communities.  Yet, we remain inspired by the resilience of our community members.  Together, we will continue to listen to and support one another as we work to build a healthy, more equitable community.


April 10, 2020 Update

Ongoing Resources

Our hearts go out to all of the families who have been, or will be, impacted by this disease.  We are thankful for first responders, health care workers and all essential employees for the work you do to save lives during this pandemic. At YWCA Richmond, we continue to work diligently to determine how we can continue to provide essential services and keep our community safe.

While we’re all collectively experiencing the stressful effects and instability due to the uncertainty of these times, many of our neighbors experience these effects every day.  We continue to listen to and help equip survivors and their families as they navigate the emotional, physical, and financial demands of fleeing violence.  We are grateful for our community of partners, volunteers, staff, parents, board members, and supporters, as together we carry out our mission.

We have compiled a resource list below for our community and will continue to keep this list updated.

Community Resources:

Greater Richmond Regional Hotline for Survivors of Domestic or Sexual Violence: 804-612-6126

Family Crisis Fund – supporting families in financial crisis in Richmond, Henrico, and Chesterfield

Feedmore – connecting neighbors to food resources

RVA Strong – centralized hub of local resources

Virginia Department of Health

YMCA Childcare for Essential Personnel (Kindergarten-8th Grade)

YWCA Childcare for Essential Personnel (18 months-5 years): email sprout@ywcarichmond.org


April 3, 2020 Update

YWCA Richmond Is Answering the Call for Help

Our regional hotline for domestic and sexual violence remains open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by calling 804-612-6126.  Trained crisis counselors are available to assist survivors of violence with safety planning, intervention strategies, shelter for those in imminent danger, and free, confidential, live support.

The Greater Richmond Regional Hotline is available for survivors across the region.  Partners include GoochlandCares,Hanover Safe Place,  James House, Project Hope at Thrive Virginia, Safe Harbor, and YWCA Richmond.


April 1, 2020 Update

YWCA Richmond Preschool and Childcare for Essential Personnel (18 months-5 years)

YWCA Richmond’s Essential Childcare is open at our downtown location.  We are here for families of essential personnel who are working to protect the health and well-being of our community.

Our childcare center is taking safety very seriously, working closely with the City of Richmond’s Department of Health. From routine temperature checks to sanitization, we have put in a stringent set of protocols to help keep our families and employees healthy each day. Our students are still having fun and are expanding their love of learning.

If you wish to apply, please email: sprout@ywcarichmond.org

Location: YWCA Richmond – 6 North 5th Street, Richmond VA 23219

Cost: $250 per week, which includes breakfast, lunch, snack, diapers, and pull-ups to keep it simple for parents to drop off and pick up children daily.

*There is a sliding scale fee as well as full scholarships available for families that qualify.


March 17, 2020 Update

Dear friends of YWCA Richmond,

 

Things have been changing fast in the last few weeks with the outbreak of COVID-19 in our region. Our hearts go out to all of the families who have been, or will be, impacted by this disease.  At YWCA Richmond, we have been working diligently to determine how we can continue to provide services while keeping our employees, clients and families safe.

We would like to update you on the prevention protocol we have deployed at YWCA Richmond to protect our survivors, volunteers, staff and children.

First of all, our work to provide domestic violence crisis support through Greater Richmond Regional Hotline and emergency shelter in the City of Richmond and Chesterfield County continues. Our case workers and volunteers are continuing to work with survivors in our care and answer the 24/7 Hotline without interruption. If you know of people who need safety planning resources or are in imminent danger from domestic violence or intimate partner violence, please share our hotline number: 804-612-6126. During this unsettling time, our history shows we will see an increased number of incidents of domestic violence due to high levels of financial distress and social isolation. YWCA Richmond will continue to serve and advocate for our survivors to the best of our ability.

 

We have immediate needs to continue our work at our shelters and beyond. If you are able to help, your cash donations at this time will be the most impactful in providing critical resources. To help sustain our mission, please contact Chief Development Officer, Rupa Murthy, at rmurthy@ywcarichmond.org. In-kind donations of pop-top ready to eat foods, cleaning supplies, and small dollar amount gift cards to gas stations or grocery stores are also helpful. If your community organizations would like to organize a donation drive, we can offer a way to deliver items that adheres to social distancing recommendations. We are limiting traffic to our building at 6 N. Fifth Street, with a  window for accepting donations. To make arrangements, please contact Heather Garrett at hgarrett@ywcarichmond.org.

 

We have postponed major events this Spring that support YWCA Richmond’s mission and look forward to celebrating with you all soon when it is safe to do so. Please check out our website for updated information about each of our Outstanding Women Awards events. This is our 40th year honoring outstanding women’s leadership and we hope you will join us later this year to celebrate!

 

UPDATE: We have made the decision to reopen our preschool next week at our downtown location to children of essential personnel only.  We will ramp up during the week and depending on demand, should have all 7 classrooms available by next Friday.  The school will be following all of the health and safety protocols set forth by the Department of Health and the Governor’s Office. Our priority is to start with our current Sprout School families who are considered essential personnel and of those, how many need childcare.  If you know someone considered essential personnel who is in need of child care for children ages 18 months through 5 years old, they can contact us through Sprout@ywcarichmond.org.

We are disinfecting the school and common areas to ensure the safety for our teachers and Sprout families when they return. Our teachers are sending home recommended activities for the children and parents to use during this time. They have even launched a new Sprout School YouTube Channel. If you are a Sprout parent, please refer to your Reminder app for updated information and staying in touch with our teachers. If you have trouble with the app, please contact school director, Kathleen Eastman, at keastman@ywcarichmond.org.

 

Since 1887, YWCA Richmond has been on the forefront of helping neighbors, strengthening resilience and promoting peace, justice and dignity for our community. We’ve been through many challenging times for our country during our 133 years of history and can share with confidence that together, we will endure this uncertain time by sharing caring spirits and grace with our collective community.

 

We are in this together, and we thank you for your support.

 

Respectfully,

Linda Tissiere
CEO, YWCA Richmond
ltissiere@ywcarichmond.org

Rupa S. Murthy
Chief Development Officer, YWCA Richmond
rmurthy@ywcarichmond.org