Warren YWCA prepares for future

WARREN – The YWCA of Warren is planning the beginning of construction for housing units at its facility as it also continues to work with youth and adults in the community as part of its varied outreach programs.

Shari Harrell, executive director, and other staff addressed what is planned for the YWCA this year and what was accomplished last year at the recent annual meeting.

“As the needs of Warren’s women and girls change, so, too, does the role of the YWCA,” she said.

Harrell said 2013 will see the construction of the housing project on the north side of the building and the transformation of the existing locker room into a technology-friendly classroom.

Funding is pending with the Appalachian Regional Commission for $105,000 for the renovation.

She said the capital campaign for the project has taken place with $2.1 million in grant funding secured for the 12-unit housing renovation project. Housing units for women and their families will be built in the former Wean pool area. Demolition of the pool area is set for this year.

Harrell said $300,00 in gifts for other capital campaign projects such as the replacement of the gym roof was completed in 2012.

The YWCA is partnering with Beatitude House and Coleman Professional Services to provide the housing.

Harrell said 2012 was a very busy year.

Staff members Monique Franklin, Kassey Nall and Daphne Todd shared what their programs included in the past year and continuing into this year.

Franklin has worked with the Before- and After-School Program for local elementary-aged children and the children’s summer camps.

Nall has handled the Teaching, Educating, Advising, Mentoring (TEAM) program with 84 elementary children being mentored by high school students from LaBrae, Niles, Trumbull Career and Technical Center, Howland and Warren.

Todd said the Step Up Program provides mentors and services for ages 15 to 23, in which young women learn vitals skills to fulfill their potential, take responsibility and prepare for their GED testing

Cheryl McArthur, board chairwoman, said the board is “so excited of all that we have seen and heard that is taking place at the YWCA.”

Locker Room A will be renovated into a state-of-the-art technology-friendly classroom to help women and youth increase their math and literacy skills and earn a diploma or GED, gain financial literacy and strengthen job readiness.