Please enjoy the YWCA Regina’s monthly newsletter for April 2020. Feel free to share our newsletter with friends and family to help spread the word that YWCA Regina is Here for Her. In this issue:
  • YWCA Regina’s services during COVID-19 closures
  • #SayYES! to helping our vulnerable women and children
  • YWCA Regina is Here for Her – Joan’s Story
  • YWCA Regina friends are Here for Her
  • Nominees Announced for Nutrien YWCA Regina Women of Distinction 
  • YWCA Regina’s AGM online April 27th
  • National YWCA news

Link to April YWCA Regina Newsletter

Photo collage of men who are "Here for Her" and for YWCA Regina

These men are “Here for Her” and for the YWCA Regina

For Immediate Release – April 20, 2020

YWCA Shelters and Essential Services remain fully accessible to those in need.

YWCA Regina continues to operate Isabel Johnson Domestic Violence Shelter, My Aunt’s Place Shelter for Women and Families, and Kikinaw Residence to serve our women in need. All four children’s shelters are also still fully operational and actively serving vulnerable children. YWCA Regina Outreach services continue to provide support to those needing assistance in securing stable income, navigating supports, housing, and acquiring basic necessities like infant formula and menstrual supplies.

In order to protect the women and children, and provide opportunity for social distancing and isolation, YWCA Regina has acquired additional apartments within the city and is undergoing renovation within our existing spaces to build fully contained private suites.

As an additional measure of protection against the transmission of COVID-19, we have temporarily closed our main building at 1940 McIntyre Street to non-essential services and at this time are not accepting donations of clothing and household items, or hosting community partners in our rental spaces.

As we mark one month of public closure, it is of utmost importance that our community understand there is still a safe place to go in the face of domestic violence, crisis, and uncertainty.

To access YWCA Services, call our 24-hour number at 306-525-2141, or visit us in person at 1940 McIntyre Street and ring the buzzer at our front door.

In case of emergency, you can also call the Mobile Crisis Helpline at 306-757-0127.

During this difficult time, we are continuing to do as we have always done –  welcome the women and children of our community with open arms and provide safety and security to those in need of support.

For questions or comment on this release or YWCA Regina programs and services  contact:
Chelsey Lemke, Senior Director Development
306-529-3036
chelseyl@ywcaregina.com

YWCA Regina Announcing that the 2020 AGM will be held online only

YWCA Regina AGM 2020 – Online Only

An updated message for our Partners and Community Members from YWCA Regina in addition to the response of March 13th regarding COVID-19.

March 17, 2020

Dear YWCA Friends:

YWCA McIntyre Building:  To limit the potential for transmission of COVID-19 to the vulnerable women and children whose home is within the McIntyre Building, we will be closing the building to the public Wednesday March 18th, 2020 until further notice.

YWCA Events: Until further notice, all YWCA events will be cancelled.  Please contact Megan McCormick, meganm@ywcaregina.com, if you have any questions or concerns.

YWCA Childcare and Before & After School: As of March 18th, all childcare services will be operated from the Centre for Play and Development at 1855 2nd Avenue North.  This will ensure that we are protecting the women who live at 1940 McIntyre Street.  Following the requirement from the Government of Saskatchewan, we will be closing the Lumsden childcare and Before & After school location by March 20th, 2020.  Please contact Tara Molson, taram@ywcaregina.com, if you have any questions or concerns.

Housing: Isabel Johnson, My Aunt’s Place, and Kikinaw Residence will remain open.  To limit the potential for transmission of COVID-19, Outreach will limit services to new clients from IJS and Map until further notice.

YWCA Children’s Housing: We will continue to provide housing and support for children and families and will take the necessary precautions as outlined by Public Health of Canada.  If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Randy Lundy, randyl@ywcaregina.com.

Community Programs:  All community programs will be cancelled until further notice and virtual support networks for participants will be created.  Please contact Tara Molson, taram@ywcaregina.com, if you have any questions or concerns.

Donations and Volunteers:  Until further notice, YWCA Regina will no longer be able to accept donations or host volunteers.  Please contact Alexis Losie, alexisl@yecaregina.com if you have any questions.

We will continue to update our community via our social media platforms and website.  Thank you again for your continued support of YWCA Regina.

Sincerely,
Melissa Coomber-Bendtsen
CEO – YWCA Regina

Printable PDF Version of Covid-19 Update Letter of March 17, 2020

A letter from YWCA Regina CEO, Melissa Coomber-Bendtsen

March 13, 2020

Dear YWCA Friends:

Thank you for your ongoing support of YWCA Regina.  It is a privilege and honour to serve our communities, both here in Regina and across the province.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and to ensure the ongoing health and well-being of children, families, participants, staff, and community members, the YWCA is enacting the following procedures, effective immediately:

  • If anyone in your household exhibits symptoms of COVID-19, please do not access YWCA services in person and call 811;
  • The YWCA will be enacting additional daily cleaning procedures of all high frequency contact areas;
  • Following recommendations for prevention procedures from Public Health of Canada;
  • Posting additional signage to encourage good hygiene and hand washing;
  • Cancelling all non-essential public outings and events for participants;
  • Regular staff who are feeling unwell will be permitted to remain home.

As we do always, YWCA Regina will continue to conform to all legislated precautions and best practices, including the Saskatchewan Childcare Act and Regulations, Saskatchewan Shelter Regulation as well as the provincial guidelines for Communicable Disease Prevention.

Childcare and Before & After School: At this time all services remain open and we will be following recommendations from the Ministry of Early Learning and Education moving forward.  Please contact Tara Molson, taram@ywcaregina.com, if you have any questions or concerns.

Housing: For those who use our housing and shelter programs, please contact Cora Sellers, coras@ywcaregina.com, if you have any questions or concerns.  We will work with you to ensure:

  • You have sufficient supplies should you be required to stay in your room;
  • You have access to mental health and phone supports;
  • You have access to your medications.

We will continue to provide housing, shelter and housing support on a continual basis and ask that you advise us immediately if you are feeling unwell, have travelled, or have been in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.

YWCA Children’s Housing: We will continue to provide housing and support for children and families and will take the necessary precautions as outlined by Public Health of Canada.  If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Randy Lundy, randyl@ywcaregina.com.

Community Programs: At this time, all programs remain open although modifications may be made to increase social distancing and prevent the likelihood of transmission.  Please contact Tara Molson, taram@ywcaregina.com, if you have any questions or concerns.

Donations and Volunteers: YWCA Regina will advise all volunteers if/when we are unable to open.  Please let your staff contact know if you’re unable to attend any shifts.  At this time, YWCA Regina is accepting donations.

We will continue to update our community via our Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and website.

Thank you again for your continued support of YWCA Regina.

 

Sincerely,
Melissa Coomber-Bendtsen
CEO – YWCA Regina

Click here for a printable PDF version of this letter

Please enjoy the YWCA Regina’s monthly newsletter for March 2020. Feel free to share our newsletter and tell your friends about the exciting things happening at YWCA Regina. In this issue:
  • International Women’s Day 
  • Here for Her – Joan Beanlands – Her Story
  • Thanks to Casino Regina
  • Tickets on sale for Nutrien YWCA Regina Women of Distinction Awards
  • 120 Walkers enjoyed the Coldest Night of the Year 
  • YWCA Regina in the community
  • Childcare spaces available at Sally’s Place 
  • One-day prenatal class starting soon
  • National YWCA news

Link to March Newsletter

Nutrien YWCA Regina Women of Distinction Awards 2019 on stage

Nutrien YWCA Regina Women of Distinction Awards

YWCA Regina will host the Coldest Night of the Year on Saturday, February 22nd starting at St. Paul’s Anglican Cathedral at 1861 McIntyre Street.

For the fifth year in a row, YWCA Regina will host Coldest Night of the Year (CNOY) to help hungry, homeless and hurting people in our city. CNOY is an annual event held in 136 communities across the country raising money and awareness in support of programs fighting homelessness and poverty. On Saturday Mayor Michael Fougere will join YWCA Regina’s CEO Melissa Coomber-Bendtsen, and about 100 other participants, on a walk through Regina’s Downtown and Heritage neighbourhoods.

Everyone is welcome to take part in this family-friendly event. Walkers have a choice of two or five-kilometre routes with fun-filled interactive rest stops along the way hosted by community partners that include the Cornwall Centre, Regina Fire & Protective Services, and Queen City Collective. Community spirit will be evident with music playing at cheer stations and hot chocolate, tea, coffee and even chicken soup offered! At the end of the jaunt, walkers will return to St. Paul’s Anglican Cathedral for a reception with chilli served by the Queen City Kinettes.

Coldest Night of the Year is an opportunity for like-minded individuals to share a heartwarming, experience with heart-healthy exercise. In addition to the benefits of camaraderie, it is an opportunity to make real change. By walking at dusk, during a cold winter’s night, walkers sense a bit of the challenge faced by people suffering homelessness.

There is a great deal of need. YWCA Regina shelters are at maximum capacity. In 2019 My Aunt’s Place (MAP), Regina’s only 24-hour emergency homeless shelter for women and families, served 512 women and their children. Unfortunately, MAP had to turn away over 1500 women and their children due to lack of space last year. Funds collected from the Coldest Night of the Year will help YWCA Regina bring warmth to hundreds of women and children. To learn more about CNOY, or financially support a team, please visit https://cnoy.org/regina.

Media contact:  Donna Boyle, YWCA Regina Director of Communications
Email: donnab@ywcaregina.com or Telephone: 306-525-2141 ext. 145

December 6th, 2019 marks the 30th anniversary of the Montreal Massacre. Not an anniversary anyone really wants to celebrate, but a tragedy that we must never forget. Try to imagine yourself innocently walking to class while thinking about writing term finals, meeting your friend for a coffee, or going home soon for the holidays. No idea that what seemed like a day like any other, would instead be your last, and not knowing that your last day would be one of terror and violence.

On December 6th, 1989, a man entered the École Polytechnique de Montréal, separated the male and female engineering students, and shot the women. Thirteen students and one worker were murdered and thirteen others were wounded that day simply because they were women. This became known as the Montreal Massacre. This senseless act of targeted violence shook our country and led the Canadian Parliament to designate December 6th as The National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence against Women. Across Canada this day offers an opportunity to remember the promising young lives cut short and to work for a society free from gender-based violence.

On December 6th, YWCA Regina will hand out red roses in and around the Cornwall Centre between 10:30 and 11:00 a.m. in honour of the 14 women. In addition, we encourage people to attend other events open to the public. The University of Regina will commemorate the day in numerous ways including a vigil at noon in the Crush Space of the Riddell Centre organized by the Women’s Centre and the Regina’s Engineering Student Society. There will also be a Candle Light Vigil held at 7 p.m. at the United Way offices at 1440 Scarth Street organized by the Canadian Labour Congress, Saskatchewan Federation of Labour, SGEU and RDLC.

The National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence against Women falls within the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence which began on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women on November 25th and ends with International Human Rights Day on December 10th. The theme of this year’s campaign in Canada is #OurActionsMatter. We all have a role to play to ensure that tragedies like the Montreal Massacre never happen again.

In Canada every six days a woman is killed by her intimate partner. The rate which Indigenous women are murdered is six times higher than non-Indigenous women. In Saskatchewan, we consistently have the highest rates of police reported incidents of intimate partner violence and sexual assaults amongst the provinces. Saskatchewan doubles the national average.

YWCA Regina is known for providing crisis services and supports for women and children and we also focus on community education. While great work is being done, we have a long way to go. YWCA Regina turns away more than 2000 women and children from our shelters each year. As YWCA continues to provide lifesaving supports and services, we must all advocate for the elimination of gender-based violence. Participating in The National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence against Womenis a good place to start.

“If nobody cared I’d be really concerned because, you know, one of the major components of the success of this building is that the community will use it.”

With a proposed design ready for the Regina YWCA’s new building in the Cathedral neighbourhood, the organization heard the community’s feedback on the design and what the surrounding outdoor space should look like.

Read more at LeaderPost.com

The YWCA held an information session on Wednesday night to gather feedback of the proposed $35 million dollar building in Regina’s Cathedral neighbourhood. The City of Regina also gave the parcel of land of Lucy Eley Park to the non-profit organization.

Melissa Coomber-Bendtsen, the CEO of YWCA Regina says it’s important to get ideas from the community they will be serving.

Read more on CTVNews.ca