Young Womens Christian Association of LA Crosse

aka YWCA La Crosse   |   LA CROSSE, WI   |  www.ywcalax.org

Mission

YWCA La Crosse is dedicated to eliminating racism, empowering women, and promoting peace, justice, freedom, and dignity for all.

Ruling year info

1956

Executive Director

Kelley Waddell

Main address

3219 COMMERCE ST

LA CROSSE, WI 54603 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

39-0810543

NTEE code info

YMCA, YWCA, YWHA, YMHA (P27)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

In 1906, before the nation saw them as equals, Coulee Region women and men united to take action to help their most vulnerable neighbors and voted to found YWCA La Crosse. For decades, YWCA La Crosse has provided programs to inspire girls to grow into leaders of tomorrow, advocate for women and vulnerable populations, and empower women to work toward self-sufficiency. Over 110 years later, YWCA La Crosse continues its mission of eliminating racism, empowering women and promoting peace, justice, freedom, and dignity for all. Its mission is accomplished through the impactful programs of its four Pillars of Hope: Supportive Housing, Economic Empowerment, Mentoring and Advocacy, and Racial and Social Justice.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Supportive Housing

YWCA La Crosse believes that obtaining housing is critical to building self-sufficiency. Our programs provide support so that women can focus on finding a job, caring for their children, and maintaining sobriety, while working toward safe, permanent housing. Each program has a different focus, but all are helping women take that first step.

Population(s) Served

YWCA La Crosse is an established voice for women’s issues and economic empowerment, working to promote participation in the workforce as a means for self-sufficiency. Our programs include safe, affordable childcare and job readiness training.

Population(s) Served

YWCA La Crosse values early intervention. Programs serve at-risk youth and teens that may not have the necessary resources and support for a stable and successful life. All programs focus on different populations and outcomes and work to empower young people to reach their full potential.

Population(s) Served

YWCA La Crosse is dedicated to promoting equity through participation in national days of action and local initiatives. As a convener of groups that implement restorative practices, YWCA La Crosse promotes conflict resolution, open dialogues, and works to reduce systemic and institutional racism.

Population(s) Served

Where we work

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

YWCA is a social justice organization and movement with over 150 years of experience providing direct service to, collaborating with, and advocating on behalf of the most vulnerable members of society. The organization has a deep and abiding commitment to working on issues of economic, gender, and racial justice. YWCA La Crosse, along with other YWCA organizations, create transformative opportunities for women, girls and people of color, furthering the YWCA mission through social service, advocacy and social change. Our foundational believes help inform this theory of change.
• Social justice requires us to transform unjust practices and policies.
• Democratic practice and plurality are fundamental.
• Women working together across lines of di¬fference can transform and improve life for all women.
• Social problems should be addressed on multiple levels.
• All women cannot be empowered if we do not address the issues of race and racism.


To respond to these foundational beliefs, YWCA La Crosse provides direct services, issue education and advocacy within the areas of:
• Racial Justice & Civil Rights
• Empowerment & Economic Advancement of Women & Girls
• Health & Safety of Women & Girls

YWCA La Crosse recognized the importance of working with other organizations with shared goals. Such cooperative approaches to social action reach more people and through shared resources, monetary or otherwise, boost impact.

YWCA La Crosse is led by an executive director who oversees six program directors who then supervise staff working directly with service delivery. The executive director also oversees a fulltime bookkeeper, administrative assistant and development director who support execution of strategic goals. While the organization operates in a more linear structure, there are opportunities for collaboration at various levels and the executive director involves various voices in the decision-making process. Each position has defined job duties and goals which are managed by direct supervisors. Ultimately, the executive director is held accountable for the entire organization operation and programs and reports directly to the executive committee of the board of directors.

YWCA La Crosse is governed by a 16-member board of directors made up of women from the community representing various sectors and areas of expertise. The board of directors meets monthly, with the exception of December. The board of directors, both as individuals and as a group, ensures that:
• Policies, planning, and services remain fully aligned with the organization's stated charitable purpose
• Assets are ably managed and steadily increased, including not only physical property and financial assets, but also the organization's reputation, relationships, staff capabilities and each other's capabilities on the board
• Ethical and overall leadership standards are upheld, and,
• All legal and agreement obligations are met.

Currently, YWCA La Crosse has seven standing committees including: Board Governance Committee, Executive Committee, Finance Committee, Advocacy Committee, Development Committee, Personnel Committee and Program Committee. Each committee is chaired by a board member and membership includes board members, as well as community members who offer expertise. These committees report policy, finance and fund development proposals to the full board for ultimate approval.

Since 1906, YWCA La Crosse has served some of Coulee Region's most vulnerable women, children and families. Equity and justice work is woven throughout its history and exhibited through its impact. While it is evident the organization always recognized the importance of equity for all, a peek into its journey to this point makes clear why its new racial justice training and education series is so imperative.

While YWCA La Crosse's history is also deeply rooted in advocating for equal rights for all, it has struggled with addressing issues of race locally. While YWCA USA was directing its national efforts largely toward racial equity, YWCA La Crosse had focused its efforts on increasing women's opportunities to increase physical health and activity. This was palpable locally when the joint Y.M.C.A/Y.W.C.A. facility on the corner of Main Street and West Avenue opened in 1969. Programming focused heavily on physical health and continued to offer child care and additional recreational opportunities for women. However, in 1978, YWCA La Crosse led the way in advocating for and empowering victims of domestic violence by opening New Horizons, a shelter for battered women. By 1992, the missions and programming of YWCA La Crosse and its partner organization were clearly moving in different directions, and the agencies separated. YWCA La Crosse's work in social justice further developed as it identified a need to improve support to area youth and founded a chapter of the Gay Alliance for La Crosse Area Youth (GALAXY). At the time, the program was one of ten and the second largest in Wisconsin.

In the past five years, YWCA La Crosse executive and board leadership acknowledged that the organization was not living up to all parts of its mission and committed to change. Within that time period, the organization began taking part in local initiatives to address disproportionate minority contact within the juvenile justice system, researched and initiated the Justice Circles program to address this disproportionality, dedicated a full-time staff person to serve as the Social Justice and Advocacy Director, and increased training for staff through monthly Racial Justice trainings. In summer of 2016, the Social Justice and Advocacy Director, along with four other community members, attended Racial Justice Training at YWCA Madison. The purpose of this training was to equip a team of individuals to bring back training resources they could provide to community members, organization and companies in hopes of increasing knowledge and community understanding of race and race equity. Remarkably, within 2016 alone, the Social Justice and Advocacy Director provided 959 hours of training to 129 individuals in the community.



Financials

Young Womens Christian Association of LA Crosse
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Young Womens Christian Association of LA Crosse

Board of directors
as of 3/20/2018
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Cindy Roberts