The YWCA Central Alabama was recently recognized as one of the Birmingham Business Journal’s Most Admired Companies of 2013. Other honorees in the nonprofit category included Salvation Army, Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham and award recipient, United Way of Central Alabama.
When asked why she believes the YWCA was chosen as a company to admire, YWCA CEO Suzanne Durham says, “For 110 years, the YWCA has been responding to critical needs of women and their families; often serving populations no one else does.”
Since 1903, the YWCA Central Alabama has planted seeds of hope – providing comfort where there is pain, love where there is loneliness and a light where there is darkness. Striving to create a more caring community, the YW continues to serve as a place of refuge, responding to the needs of women and their families providing them with hope and a new beginning in a warm, family-like environment.
The Birmingham Business Journal comprised the list of nominees by asking Birmingham business leaders to complete a survey giving their three most admired companies in seven critical industries. “They did not stop at their initial mission, but have kept looking for ways of solving the ‘next piece of the puzzle,’” says one survey respondent of the YWCA.
The YWCA’s mission of eliminating racism and empowering women through peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all is evident in the services and programs offered to those in crisis. The four program areas include: affordable housing, child care for homeless and low-income families, domestic violence services and social justice advocacy.
The YWCA’s Housing Department is committed to providing excellent housing and supportive programming for women, children and families within Central Alabama in order to ensure equal and fair access to a variety of housing types to accommodate multiple needs; doing so in a manner that upholds the dignity of each person it is privileged to serve. The YWCA Central Alabama has over 160 rental units of temporary and permanent housing options for individuals and families.
The YWCA Child Development Center houses KIDS (Kids in Distress) Korner, our child care for children of homeless families, and Calico Corner, our child care predominately for children of working poor families. Both are NAEYC (National Association for the Education of Young Children) accredited and a bright spot in our state that is ranked 50th in resources for homeless children. KIDS Korner is the only child care program in the state dedicated to children living in homeless shelters.
The YWCA’s Domestic Violence Services provides the Family Law Center, a legal team provided free of charge that is available for victims of domestic violence, Justice on Wheels, legal services for rural victims of domestic violence and court advocates – women specially trained to walk with a domestic violence victim through the legal process. They also offer three domestic violence shelters for women and children and the only Department of Justice Supervised Visitation Center in the state for victims of domestic violence, their children and family members where children may visit with their noncustodial parent in a staffed center.
“It is our great Board members, Junior Board members, staff, volunteers and community supporters that make us so admirable – thank you for all your hard work! I certainly admire their passion for the women, children and families that we serve,” says Durham. “Thanks also to the Birmingham Business Journal for this recognition.”
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