More than half-million-dollar shortfall will impact YWCA services for women in need
VANCOUVER -- The YWCA says it may struggle to provide housing and childcare for women in need because it’s struggling for cash as COVID-19 wreaks havoc on its normal income streams.
The YWCA operates a hotel and a fitness centre open to the public, and the profits from these social enterprises support programs for women. But the economic slow-down and business restrictions in response to the pandemic mean the businesses haven’t made as much money as they would in a normal year.
“We have two social enterprises, a hotel and a health and fitness centre and of course they’ve taken a big hit this year,” said Amy Juschka the director of communications.
“(We are) appealing to folks who are in a position to do so to help support our programs and services with a donation,” she added.
Specifically, the organization says it is projecting a $640,000 loss.
The organization is facing these challenges at a time when COVID-19 is disproportionately affecting the women they provide social services to, Juschka said.
“We know that women have lost jobs at twice the rate of men … and women’s labour force participation is the lowest its been in three decades.”
This is on top of the affordability challenges that women across Metro Vancouver were facing even before the pandemic, Juschka explained.
In its bid for extra financial support, the YWCA has set up a poster campaign around the Lower Mainland.
The posters show the illusion of an open doorway, and symbolize how the YWCA can open doors for women by providing them with services such as housing, childcare and violence prevention.
“We really wanted to show that when you donate to the YWCA you are actually opening doors to women and children and youth in need,” Juschka said.
With files from Nafeesa Karim.