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Community Foundation of White County

YWCA Greater Lafayette

          For over 160 years, the YWCA has been a leader in many critical social movements. Today, the YWCA’s mission is dedicated to eliminating racism, empowering women, and promoting peace, justice, freedom, and dignity for all. While the YWCA consists of a large global network of leaders, they bring impactful, positive change even into our small, rural communities.

          Probably mostly known for its work in domestic and sexual violence services, Greater Lafayette YWCA (which serves multiple surrounding counties, including White County) offers an emergency shelter for victims of domestic violence and their children, a 24-hour emergency crisis line, support groups and classes, legal advocacy including assistance with Protection Orders and immigration issues, case management, and educational outreach. A Women Giving Together Fund Grant in 2019 supported White County individuals who needed emergency shelter, which, prior to the pandemic, averaged about 200 bed nights per year.

          Outside of their DV services, many other great things are happening at the YWCA. Nohemi Lugo, Hispanic Advocate for Greater Lafayette YWCA, shared with the Foundation just how extensive and holistic their organization really is:

          The Women’s Cancer Program is one of the largest programs currently running at the Greater Lafayette YWCA. Due to inequities in healthcare, it is determined to provide early screenings for breast and cervical cancers among uninsured, under-insured, and minority women at no cost. In 2020, an astounding 1,938 clients were served. This life-saving program is offered in 41 Indiana counties, making it the largest region in the Indiana Breast and Cervical Cancer Program. In 2018, a Women Giving Together Fund Grant funded the Women’s Cancer Program for White County residents, making it possible to seek medical attention locally, since transportation to larger cities is often a barrier for many rural women.

          Another great focus at the YWCA is its Empowerment Services aimed to support and build up individuals and families for long-term self-sufficiency. They achieve this goal through several avenues: STRIVE Workforce Development, a free professional development program for individuals who struggle to secure or retain living-wage employment; Dress for Success Greater Lafayette, which provides professional attire, as well as education on resumes and building a professional presence; and Culinary Incubator, a commercial kitchen that is available to rent at affordable rates with a sliding scale for women, people of color, and other underserved populations.

          Your Community Foundation of White County has been a proud partner with Greater Lafayette YWCA on multiple grants to support its mission. And today, its work is more important than ever, as the pandemic has increased the needs and shined a light on the inequities and disparities across the globe. For individuals who may be seeking local services, Nohemi holds open house hours on the first Tuesday of each month in Monticello. Reach out to Nohemi to learn more: 765.523 7015.