Editors Note: The following statement was issued to WBTA by Millie Tomidy-Pepper, Executive Director of the YWCA of Genesee County
On behalf of the YWCA, I want to update you on the status of the agency. First and foremost, we are Open! As many of you know, in March of this year, the YWCA of Genesee County was without the means to meet its financial obligations. Quite simply, if it were not for the generous financial support of Nancy and Bill Brach of Brach Machine in Batavia, our doors would have closed and services to the community would have ceased immediately! While this was a daunting time, the Brach’s financial support afforded us an opportunity to assess the situation and define a path forward for the 108 year old organization.
A strategic planning process commenced and many heartfelt hours were spent determining the complexities of the situation. We evaluated if the organization could regain viability. Our goal: to make decisions that not only assured the survival of the organization but ensured the organization would thrive to meet the needs of this generation and many more to come.
While the strategic plan is an ongoing process, several critical decisions have been made that we would like to share with the community. With a focus on the organizations mission and the fiscal viability of each program, the decision was made to transition the School Daycare Program, Care and Crisis Line and Child and Adult Care Food Program to other providers. We approached the conversion of each program with care to assure a seamless transition for all involved. The reduction of these programs will allow the YWCA to rebuild its fiscal infrastructure while focusing its attention on our Domestic Violence Services and Courthouse Daycare Programs.
Additionally, after countless hours of deliberation the decision was made to sell (or fully lease) the building the YW has called home for over 50 years. This decision was bittersweet, but if we are to secure a place for the YWCA’s future, we need to shift our focus from building maintenance to our core mission — eliminating racism and empowering women. In short, our home for the last 50 years will make the next 50 years possible. We are excited for the opportunities this reorganization period will bring to help us use our resources more responsibly, eliminate all debt and allow us to invest in the future as our founding sisters once did. We will also take the lead to stand against racism, inequality, sexism and hate crimes as they continue to dominate the headlines in our nation today.
In closing, we are forever grateful for the outpouring of community support shown us. From community fundraisers to roof repairs, tech support, volunteerism, donations and pots of flowers left on our front porch… all are incredible acts of kindness…thank you!