What’s Happening at the YWCA

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Message from the Executive Director – Looking Ahead to 2016

Source: article by Joanne Paulson, published in the Saskatoon Express December 28, 2015

I have many reasons to be encouraged as I look ahead to 2016, but the economic climate in Saskatchewan in is a concern for the YWCA and the families we serve, unlike 2008 where our province was the anomaly.

For our most vulnerable citizens, basic needs like decent housing and affordable groceries will be hardships.

In the coming year, many of Saskatoon’s young families will struggle to secure safe, adequate housing. However, the momentum towards a collaborative Housing First initiative is encouraging.  The Y is introducing an outreach worker in the new year, with a focus on moving mothers with children out of the crisis shelter and into housing rapidly.

It will be difficult for many in Saskatoon to earn a living wage. But when women earn higher wages, their families are lifted out of poverty and the whole community benefits. In January, the YWCA Trade Journey program will admit its third cohort of aspiring tradeswomen. There continues to be demand in our workforce and the skilled trades present good opportunities for women to advance.

The change in federal government is encouraging for women and Indigenous peoples. I expect to see continued action in restoring relationships with Indigenous peoples and a larger presence for the Status of Women Office. Through increased discourse on interpersonal violence, I hope to witness a stronger political will to eliminate violence against women and girls.

I am optimistic that as a community, we will move forward in improving the well-being of women, girls and families.  I believe that those of us who are privileged must work for change for others who have not had the same advantages. My hope is that as we face the challenges ahead in 2016, our leaders will realize their responsibility and commit their support.

Barb Macpherson,

Executive Director

YWCA Saskatoon

Read the full article by Joanne Paulson here: http://www.saskatoonexpress.com/current.html