Welcome to our brand NEW digital web edition to our monthly internal employee newsletter! Its the same great newsletter, delivered directly to your email–only this time, there’s a dedicated webpage to go along with it. It is our hope you find it easier to navigate, and, (in case you can’t find the email) there’s just one link to save and remember. Best of all it is all mobile friendly!
We are just testing this out this week, so feedback is appreciated and welcomed! We hope you enjoy it!
2 Amber Jacott
2 Patricia Palmer
3 Debora Delzell
3 Valerie Henthorn
4 Kenneth Yahnke
6 Tracy Tartt
6 Josh Westling
THIS MONTH'S BIRTHDAY SPOTLIGHT
(SHAMLESS SELF PROMOTION) ;)
7 Nickole Jackson
7 Kimberly Trimmer
12 Laura Carpenter
14 Christina Phalen
15 Dwayne Meadows
16 Betsy Kile
16 Donna Connelly
18 Deborah Schipper
20 Jessica Wichtman-Will
23 Patricia Hunley
23 Caroline Woliver
23 Marcy McCorkle
26 Beverly Gyure
27 Alvin Jackson
30 Tierra Lee
This month’s anniversary spotlight
1 YEAR: Stacey Hough
Roy McClelland Jr.
5 YEARS: Laura Carpenter
6 YEARS: Jeanne Purcell
14 YEARS: Danyel Brown
16 YEARS: Linda Damron
28 YEARS: Helen Widman
Employment Resource Specialist
Front Desk & Security Coordinator
Safety & Security Assistant
Flannery grew up in Salt Lake City, Utah. After completing her degree at Portland State University, she spent a year teaching English in a small town in Latvia. Her work with students from financially insecure families and volunteering in refugee resettlement ignited her passion for advocacy for children and families. She is committed to providing strengths-based, culturally competent support to all individuals working to create change in their lives. Before her move to Columbus this summer, she was the program coach at a small nonprofit organization in Salt Lake that provides a supportive social network for families seeking financial stability. Flannery loves Columbus, and is absolutely thrilled to be joining the YWCA Columbus team as the new Workforce Development Specialist! Outside of work, Flannery enjoys hiking, camping, film photography, and cooking.
Workforce Development Specialist
Volunteer & Donations Coordinator
We are very excited to introduce Mac Patrick, our new Volunteer & Donations Coordinator! Mac is a recent graduate of The Ohio State University with a Major in Political Science and a Minor in Women’s Studies. She has broad experience and knowledge working towards social change within the Columbus Community. Her passion combined with her positivity create an inclusive and welcoming environment for all. Be sure to stop by the Volunteer & Donations office at the Family Center to say hello!
Activists and Agitators
Thursday, 10/17 marked the second annual Activists and Agitators event, our evening fundraiser benefiting YWCA Columbus Leadership Programming. Due to the hard work of our staff and volunteers, we had an extremely successful event! We doubled sponsorship and attendance from last year, and have received amazing feedback on the inspirational line-up of speakers. Thank you to the staff who made this event possible!
In case you missed it, view photos from the event below and/or check out the event Shareables page:
A Special ‘Thank You’
One of the unsung heroes of this years’ stellar Activists and Agitators event, (and the woman shown here between two balloons), Adria Hall. [You guys, she’s literately going to kill me for putting this in here so I’m going a bit rouge here.] Adria worked tireless hours making sure this event was a killer success. Every thing from signing on speakers, to scripting, to making sure every single detail was thoroughly thought out, discussed and covered, this girl deserves a standing-O, my fellow YWCA staff members! Did I mention she’s new? I can’t wait to see what this girl’s going to do next! So, please, please, please give her a fist bump, a high-five or a hug the next time you see her so she feels appreciated and loved!
Adria Hall, Events Manager
New Holiday Program to Benefit Women Residency
This year we are introducing a new program during the holidays to benefit our Women Residency women! Residents will be matched with donors to receive gifts during their holiday celebration on Wednesday, December 18th. If you are interested in more details regarding how to adopt a resident, please contact Jessica Wichtman-Will: 614-253-3916.
New From YWCA USA
Introducing YWCA University
Ready to go back to school? Mark your calendar for Thursday, November 7th. Registration for YWCA USA’s first course on their new university platform, RJ 101: Racial Justice Foundations, will officially open. This course is designed to help answer three basic questions from a YWCA perspective: “What is race?” “What is racism?” and “Why is racism so hard to eradicate? Please note: you must be a member of the YWCA USA Intranet to register for the course. If you have not yet joined our Intranet, your first YWCA University assignment is to click and follow these instructions.
*BRAND NEW COLUMN ALERT*
A Message from our Mission Motivator
Hello YWCA family!
As your Chief Mission Officer, one of my charges is to be out in the community raising awareness, educating on the issues facing women, girls, and families in our central Ohio community—especially around housing inequity—and advocating for policy change to bring more opportunity to those too often, and for too long, marginalized by our systems. Over the course of these first nine months, I’ve been learning a lot: about us as an organization—our spirit and our resolve. About the esteem with which we are regarded in the community—for every program we operate, in whatever meeting I am in or new introduction I make, someone has something great to say about the work we are doing. And I continue to witness the urgency of our work, especially in providing shelter.
I’ve also been thinking carefully about how to best share the work that we as an organization are doing at the community and systems level, with all of you who are on the front lines, engaging with our clients (often in crisis), many of whom (arguably, all of whom) have been marginalized by the very systems we are pushing against.
My goal is to regularly submit a column in the YWConnect to share important advocacy updates and wins when possible, or simply, share what I am hearing or learning in the work.
To kick us off in November, I want to share about some significant movement happening in the eviction space. We know that evictions have an impact on homelessness: about 30% of clients at the Family Center cite evictions as a contributing factor to their homelessness. We also know that the racial and gender disparities in evictions are reflected in who we serve at the shelter. For example, 64% of those facing eviction in Franklin County are African American. Seventy percent of our clients in the shelter are African American. I have observed eviction court in person, and it truly operates like an assembly line: judgements evicting people from their homes are handed out in a matter of minutes. As a community, and as an organization, we have been rallying around evictions reform as a matter of equity and justice.
And we are seeing some movement, thanks to the tireless efforts of several partners, including Columbus Women’s Commission (Christie and I are both Commissioners), Franklin County Municipal court leadership, community partners such as Legal Aid, and more. Some of these early wins include:
- Franklin County Municipal Court judges have approved five of six recommendations to change the process at Eviction court that will help even the playing field between tenants and landlords, and provide more resources and support for tenants facing eviction. For example, the Court is searching for funds to support a full-time social worker to be on-site to connect tenants to resources immediately, and help them navigate the process. They are redesigning the eviction summons to be more “user friendly” so that one does not need a law degree to understand the summons. And they have made it more costly for landlords to file a “second cause claim”, which is a claim a landlord may file seeking money owed for past due rent or damages. In its own analysis, the court found that only 50% of landlords actually pursued these second cause claims (which makes sense, given that most evictions are filed in the first place for non-payment of rent). However, the claim would continue to be on the court’s books, showing in public records as an “open” eviction case for a tenant who is trying to seek new housing.
- A brief has been filed with the 10th District Court seeking to end the practice of landlord testimony by affidavit, meaning the landlord does not have to appear for the hearing; a tenant does, and if the tenant does not show, it’s an immediate judgement. On behalf of YWCA, I wrote a statement in support of ending this unjust practice that was included in the amicus brief Legal Aid Society of Columbus submitted to the 10th District Court.
- City Council has recently updated its law regarding retaliatory evictions, prohibiting tenants from being evicted in retaliation for complaining about housing conditions, unfair rent increases, or other issues. City Council is also rolling out a new Eviction Prevention Fund to help keep tenants in their homes, with initial funding of $300,000.
The work does not stop here. There are more recommendations being vetted, including a standardized process for sealing eviction records from public access. YWCA will continue to advocate for changes to our evictions process and be at the table, to give voice to the hundreds we serve who have not been heard.
If you are interested in reading the amicus brief, or would like more information about anything I have shared here, please do not hesitate to reach out. And as always, thank you for all that you do!
Chief Mission Officer
Kids Place Site Directors of the Month
In September, KJ Ross-Wilcox from Annehurst Kids Place was awarded the Site Director of the Month in Westerville for his teamwork and flexibility in assisting other sites with staff in times of need. In Gahanna, Liz Kittner from Mifflin Presbyterian Kids Place was also awarded for going above and beyond with her amazing activities by holding a wonderful parent event recently.
Kids Place Supports the Family Center
Kids Place sites are working hard this month to support our YWCA Family Center through their service projects! Fouse in Westerville held a sock drive and in Gahanna, Jefferson and Chapelfield are collecting baby items.
We appreciate you!
Chapelfield in Gahanna is feeling extra grateful for their wonderful Program Assistants, Ms. Pam and Ms. Pat! They have been going above and beyond with planning and prepping to make the Chapelfield site amazing!
from Marlis Johnson, Keith Couser, Liz Kittner, and Mariah Davis at Mifflin Presbyterian Kids Place
‘Lights On Afterschool’ Celebration
On October 24th we celebrated ‘Lights On Afterschool’ with Kids Place programs in Westerville and in Gahanna! Lights On Afterschool is an annual recognition of afterschool programs to show how crucial afterschool is for children across the country.
Michelle Chapman and Rene Call did a wonderful job planning and facilitating a Kids Place PJ Party, nature walk, and dance party at the Full Day Kids Place in Westerville!
In Gahanna, our special guest was Mr. Tom Kneeland, Mayor of Gahanna. Stephani Reid asked Jamie, the Site Director, how did she get the Mayor to attend the event? Jamie remarked, “I just called his office and asked him!” He was so amazing with the kids and had a great time listening during their ‘reflections in the mirror’ activity. To top it off, one of Jamie’s Program Assistants talked about her home country, Brazil and brought us some delicious candy to try that she made herself!
Stephani Reid remarked,
“The thing I noticed when I came to Jamie’s site is a sense of knowing who you are and what you represent. The kids talked about themselves using adjectives like I am brave, smart, athletic, generous, kind, and beautiful. Jamie has instilled in the children that they matter, they have a voice and they are special, which echoes our mission of empowerment. It was amazing to see how the children embraced her teaching. I recently saw a message that a parent who was waiting for an open spot at the Blacklick location. She turned it down saying that ‘she and her children love the Peace Lutheran location and don’t want to leave’.” That is a testament of the great work that our YKP staff do! I am very proud of this team!
Glow Stick Party
Visit from Mayor of Gahanna Tom Kneeland