November 2017 Newsletter
Welcome to our monthly newsletter. In it, you’ll find stories about what’s new and notable at the YW, about the impact we have on the women and children and families we serve, about the issues that affect them and the actions we’re taking on those issues, and about what’s upcoming. We hope you’ll find it interesting.
New & Notable
Hockey Helps the Homeless!
On October 27th, the fourth annual Hockey Helps the Homeless tournament took place at Waterloo’s RIM Park and raised $210,000 for the YW and four other local agencies providing emergency shelter and other services and supports to people who are homeless. That record breaking accomplishment could not have been achieved if not for the efforts of hundreds and hundreds of sponsors, players, donors and of course the volunteers who laboured on the day and all year long to make the tournament the huge success that it was.
YW President Patricia Polischuk
Patricia Polischuk is Vice President & Market Leader at Optimum Talent, a national provider and market leader in the field of career management, executive search and leadership development. Known as a trusted advisor in the Southwestern Ontario region, Patricia has worked with executives from a variety of sectors. Prior to joining Optimum Talent she held senior roles in an international consulting firm and began her career in real estate development and telecommunications organizations. Patricia also spent several years at McMaster University where she built their Alumni Career Coaching program.
As a recognized subject matter expert, Patricia has spoken at conferences, published articles and appeared on television to discuss trends and issues related to career management. Patricia received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Wilfrid Laurier University and a post graduate certificate in Public Relations from Humber College. She is passionate about creating prosperous communities and is actively involved at the leadership level as a member of the Board of Governors at Wilfrid Laurier University and as President of the Board at the YW of Kitchener Waterloo.
We held our annual Club 84 Reception on November 7th, graciously hosted by Club 84 member Mary Reynolds, in her home. Club 84 was formed 37 years ago, and its members commit to giving every year, contributing a third of the YW’s fundraising revenues! Patricia Polischuk, the YW's President, spoke and gave gifts to our 20-year members. Elizabeth Clarke, our CEO, provided an update to members on the YW’s achievements and challenges over the past year, and thanked Club 84, whose support is more important now than ever!
YW ImpactEnding Homelessness Requires Housing with Supports!
Everyone understands that if we want to end homelessness, we need more affordable housing. ‘Affordable’ housing can have a couple of different meanings. It can mean rents that are no more than 30% of a tenant’s income (called Rents Geared to Income, or RGI), or it can mean rents that are no more than 60% to 80% of the ‘market’ rents determined each year by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. But for some homeless people, affordable housing isn’t enough. They also need supports in such areas as personal care, food management, medications management, financial management and community inclusion if they are to live successfully on their own. And these are typically the homeless people who spend long periods of time in the shelters or on the streets. At the end of March 2017, there were 243 individuals on the wait list in Waterloo Region for supportive housing. More than half of these 243 individuals had been assessed at the ‘highest acuity’ or the greatest need for housing supports. Unfortunately, with only 236 supportive housing units in total – and almost all of those units already occupied – there simply aren’t enough to meet the need.
We need more affordable and supportive housing and the YW is doing its part. There are 11 supportive housing providers in our region, and with 60 units – or 23% of the total – serving 90 women and children, we are the largest, and we are the only supportive housing provider for families. Please join us on a short video tour of our supportive housing programs, to learn more about our work.
YW Issues & ActionEverybody, every day - say it's #NOTokay!
Violence against women is everywhere. We live in a culture that teaches girls how not to get raped, instead of teaching boys not to rape. That’s not okay. Belittling, sexualizing and attacking girls and women online, on TV, or anywhere else is not okay. Blaming the victim is not okay. Accepting violence as a natural part of society is not okay. From Monday November 27th through Wednesday December 6th, we’ll stand with YWCAs across Canada and use our social media to say Everybody, every day – say it’s #NOTokay! We hope you’ll join us.
Elect more women!
In communities where women have greater roles in political decision-making, the status of all women improves and the entire community benefits. The Economic and Social Council of the United Nations concludes that there must be a minimum of 30% of women in political leadership positions for women’s viewpoints and interests to be truly taken into account and addressed, and this benchmark has become widely accepted internationally. Unfortunately, women are chronically under-represented in Canadian politics at all levels, and at no level is the situation worse than at the municipal level.
Despite making up 52% of the population, women only make up 24% of municipal Councillors and only 16% of municipal mayors in Canada. Research shows that women candidates are at a particular disadvantage at the municipal level when they run as independents, without the financial and campaign support of parties and riding associations. Among other barriers, women candidates report that they can’t raise as much money as men candidates can, and they’re uncomfortable with the often aggressive nature and tone of political debate.
The Women’s Municipal Campaign School of Waterloo Region aims to change all that here, with a local target of 50%! Since 2006, the Women’s Municipal Campaign School has provided two days of training for women considering and planning to run for office, covering such topics as fundraising, campaign strategies, public speaking and media relations. The YW is a founding member and sponsor and is proud to be involved in the 2018 Women’s Municipal Campaign School, with the first day planned for January in Kitchener, and the second in April in Cambridge. Stay tuned for more information!
YW Sneak Peek!
On Wednesday November 29th, from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm, please join us for a sneak peek at our new employment program and social enterprise, In Her Shoes. Enjoy some wine and cheese, take in our art shoes display, and learn more about how the new venture will support women and girls in our community. Admission is $20 with a donation of new or gently used shoes, bags or accessories. You can purchase tickets at https://ywinhershoes.eventbrite.ca.