TOPEKA, Kan. - Newly awarded federal grants paired with increased presence on the national board strengthen the YWCA of Topeka’s services, programming and overall ability to positively impact the organization’s mission.
Expanded rural advocacy and services for battered women
The YWCA has expanded services through its Battered Women Task Force program through a federally funded rural grant from the Office of Violence Against Women.
The award provides the Topeka YWCA $497,000 over the next two years to augment services for outlying rural county residents. Through the grant, five positions new positions were developed, and the organization opened two satellite offices in Jackson and Wabaunsee counties.
The satellite offices allow staff to provide essential services for domestic and sexual violence survivors and their children, including assistance in filing protection from abuse orders, counseling and limited financial assistance.
“Our goal with this grant was to make services more available for rural clients, increase our outreach efforts in these communities, coordinate community response teams, provide public education, and collaborate with rural community organizations,” said Eileen Doran, YWCA Battered Women Task Force director. “By creating a awareness and being available in outlying communities, we’re able to serve more families and help them seek refuge and get protection when necessary.”
New funding for job-skills and training program for women and minorities
In addition to increasing services for the Battered Women Task Force, the YWCA was also awarded a separate federally funded grant of $171,000. This award will allow the organization to re-establish and fund its previous program, the Career Assistance Network. Through this on-the-job training supportive services grant, the YWCA receives funds from the Federal Highway Administration, administered by the Kansas Department of Transportation, to implement a program which recruits, trains and supports services to increase the number of minorities, women and disadvantaged persons in the workforce for Federal-aid highway construction projects in Northeast Kansas. An additional percentage of funds will be matched by the state.
“The program is more than simply learning how to operate machinery and understanding safety protocols,” said Linda Kinney, director of the newly developing program.
“This is a pre-employment construction and life skills management training program. It will provide a solid foundation for participants to develop and increase their construction knowledge and skills; allowing them to achieve new career milestones and opportunities to help balance their work and personal lives.”
The YWCA will add two new full-time positions to staff the program. Applications for enrollment to the program will begin this summer, with the first of three, 10-week training sessions scheduled for fall 2008.
National and regional presence enhanced
The YWCA is enhancing more than its programming and services as affiliates of the Topeka YWCA were recently elected to lend their voices and motivational drive for the YWCA mission at the regional and national levels.
· Asel Mukeyeva, was elected to the national YWCA board to represent the face of young women under age 30.
· Glenda DuBoise, who has served on the National Board for seven years and is a past president, currently serves on the YWCA national board and works with YWCA World, addressing international concerns facing women and minorities.
· Joyce Martin, CEO of the Topeka YWCA, was voted as president-elect of the Greater Heartland Region, a nine-state region.
“The YWCA is growing and gaining momentum for high impact presence in regard to the mission in the Topeka community and beyond,” said Deborah Rose, YWCA Topeka board president. “Women face new challenges as our society changes, and the YWCA has been responsive to women’s growing needs. It’s definitely an exciting time to be a part of the YWCA.”