A government of the people, by the people and for the people.
Introducing the YWCA Resident Council
The YWCA has added an addition to our residential program. Women staying in our facility now have the opportunity to have their voices and opinions heard. The YWCA Resident Council is comprised of residential women that meet on a weekly basis to discuss issues they face, resolve conflict, and suggest ideas that will assist residential staff with improving the program. The council was resurrected by Residential Intern, Jennifer Apple. Apple explained that the council will provide suggestions, feedback, and open dialogue between the residents and staff.
When women were asked why they were interested in being a part of the resident council, several responded, “I want to serve so that I can make sure that the YWCA staff know what women and children need while they are participating in the residential program. It gives me the opportunity to make a difference, to share the ideas and concerns of those who live here, and to connect with the staff.”
What inspired us most was that every woman who volunteered to serve was thrilled by the idea of helping current and future residents. Resident Council strengthens our YWCA community and allows women to take part in the decision-making process. One resident stated, “we can suggest and implement classes and programs that we feel will benefit us.”
Most importantly, resident council empowers women to share and collaborate as they work to change their situations. Their involvement will create change that will affect women long after they have exited the program.
The council has already seen their work turn to action. One resident felt extremely passionate about expanding the swim hours, using the pool as water therapy for certain health issues. After presenting the case to staff, residents now have extended pool hours. Moving forward, residents want to see an increase in professional development programs. “I think many of us need additional assistance developing our communication skills. Knowing how to communicate our thoughts effectively and networking will be of tremendous benefit. With the help of the council and staff, I think we can make sure the class happens.”
Although this is just the beginning of the YWCA Resident Council, we believe that great strides can be made with the help of women participating in our program. A strong relationship between residents and staff enables the YWCA to continue to improve the residential program and the women and children that reside with us.