Spokane Journal of Business

Spokane YWCA says it served just short of 16K women, children in 2014

Nonprofit helped 2,000 more people than in ’13

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The YWCA of Spokane says in a recently released 2014 annual report that it served more than 15,800 people last year, almost all of whom were women and children. It helped about 2,000 people more than 2013, says Regina Malveaux, YWCA of Spokane’s CEO. 

The 112-year-old nonprofit categorizes its services into three umbrella programs: alternatives to domestic violence, children’s services, and the women’s opportunity center. Alternatives to domestic violence proved the most used program, with more than 12,000 people helped here last year. 

“We don’t necessarily believe that’s a spike in the rate of domestic violence,” Malveaux says, “but more likely the result of more people knowing about our services.”

She cites new police protocols, increased media attention, and training in the workplace to look for signs of domestic violence as possible reasons for the surge in clients. Malveaux didn’t have a projected service number for 2015 but expects the rising awareness will continue to affect clientele flow. 

The crisis line, the most common of the services within the alternatives to domestic violence program, assisted more than 3,600 people in 2014. 

 “The crisis line is basically the first point of contact that almost anybody will have with us,” says Malveaux. Calls can be anything from someone inquiring about available resources to a police officer onsite at a domestic violence situation, says Malveaux. Callers are often referred to specific community programs after initial crisis line contact.

In addition to the crisis line, 465 women and children accessed the nonprofit’s now renovated safe shelter last year, the annual report says. Walker Construction completed that project in 2014. Along with routine upgrades, the rooms were revamped to be more like mini-apartments, says Malveaux. Before the remodel, additional stress of the shelter’s dorm-like layout would cause some women to leave before they were ready, she says. Malveaux estimated about $135,000 to $140,000 went into the renovations.

Annual revenue for 2014 increased roughly $480,000 from 2013, to $3.3 million, although the nonprofit experienced some funding decrease mid-year. One example of the reason for that, Malveaux says, is updated funding priorities within the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. 

In past years, the department has helped fund the opportunity center, which provides employment services for low-income women. Now, HUD has narrowed its funding to housing-specific programs, Malveaux says. She says the center has been open to all-low income women, but it may need to “reform its service model” and limit its clientele if the nonprofit is unable to raise support for the remaining costs.

The report also says 960 individual donors, 145 volunteers, and 96 corporate and foundation partners helped the YWCA throughout the  year, supporting the organization’s mission and vision of “eliminating racism, empowering women and promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all” a thriving, 15,800 person strong reality.

Samantha Peone
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