August 2015
YWCA Mission Talk
Your contributions at work changing lives 
Welcome to Mission Talk. This e-newsletter gives you a periodic update on the work of YWCA Delaware as together we strive to eliminate racism, empower women and enrich families in Delaware. Our mission depends on supporters like you and we solicit your feedback and comments. Please consider doing and donating more. Thank you. 

Davida Baker Leads the YWCA with a Commitment to 

a Secure Future and Changing Lives


Davida Baker

It is an honor and pleasure to serve as the new president of the Board of Directors of YWCA Delaware.  I am proud to be associated with one of Delaware's premier organizations committed to providing a hand up instead of a hand out.
We believe this is the only way to end the perpetual cycle of homelessness and poverty in our community.  This summer we have been busy ensuring our commitment to provide much needed services to our clients 
Some of the highlights over the past months include implementation of our sexual assault resource center,  facilitation of microenterprise and homeownership workshops and an inaugural 5K Run/Walk sponsored by United Medical, just to name a few. 
Due to your support, the YW is able to continue to change lives in the Delaware community.  Finally but not less important, I would like to thank the YW clients, staff and fellow board members who continue to inspire me through their courage, compassion and commitment.
Thanks again for all you do and I look forward to seeing you at Breakfast Celebration event on Thursday November 5, 2015 at the Chase Riverfront.  In the meantime, take the opportunity to tour the Home Life Management Center on one of our popular Mission Tours, times and dates are listed in this newsletter.
Let's work together to change more lives and to make Delaware an even better place to live and work. 

Home Life Management Center  
A Social Service Vision Realized for over 25 Years

Entrance wall honors

Marian Hinson

The row homes lining the 700 block of Madison Street in Wilmington are similar to those constructed in many suburban neighborhoods. In fact, the Home Life Management Center (HLMC), founded over 25 years ago to serve the homeless, is truly a residential complex, not a shelter. Opening its doors to qualified clients in 1989, HMLC was expanded to encompass the entire block in 2001. The newer section provides larger apartments for families rebuilding their lives.
"Home Life was Marian Hinson's vision and our CEO at the time, Connie Beresin, turned a compelling idea into a reality," said Sonia Sloan, director of Development at the time. "Connie wanted the YW to become more of a social service agency rather than a female-focused imitation of the YMCA with a shelter. Establishing Home Life was a big step in realizing her goal."
Sonia talked about how a feasibility study was done in the late 1980s to discover how much it would cost to renovate the Madison Street row houses and set up the ambitious program. "Funds were obtained from many sources. For example, we received a competitive grant from the Gannett Foundation," she explained, "and the YWCA sponsored a popular biathlon in support of the HLMC for several years in the early 1990s."
Marian Hinson, HLMC's housing director, was interviewed several years ago and spoke about the collaboration between the Wilmington Housing Authority and the YWCA to make a transitional housing program available to women and their families. Marian said that the participants or clients were the reason for the HLMC's success because they entered with a desire to change the course of their lives. "Many need direction," she said, "and the more people that tell you that you can do it, you start believing in yourself."
Culinary training at HLMC
For the full interview, click on this link to Youtube: Marian Hinson interview 
Thousands of lives have changed for the better because of the existence of the HLMC over the past quarter century. In 2014 alone, 167 individuals were served with 93% eventually moving into safe and stable housing. Each year, at the annual YWCA Celebration Breakfast, former clients of HLMC tell their stories of how hard work, a helping hand, good advice and a safe and secure place to call home, made all the difference. .

In 2015, the YWCA finds government funding for the HMLC under threat. The future of a program that has served the homeless for almost three decades is cloudy. Dedicated volunteers and donors remain determined to keep the doors open to welcome clients passing through to begin their successful new lives.
An Urgent Message from YWCA CEO Michelle Basham

HUD Policies Threaten Home Life Management Center
YWCA-Home Life Management Center (HLMC) receives a substantial portion of its operating support from HUD but that funding is now threatened by dramatic HUD policy shifts.  HUD wants to emphasize serving homeless adults without kids who have substance abuse problems over serving homeless families with kids.  With this, they will not allow organizations receiving HUD funding to require residents to participate in programming, have program rules, be sober or even limit how long they can stay. 

YWCA- HLMC has been asked to "re-allocate" to this new program model and we have refused.  Core to our mission and service delivery approach, we believe in giving a "hand up" not a hand-out and moving the families we serve to self-sufficiency.  In partnership with Brother Ronald/Ministry of Caring, we are doing everything we can to raise awareness that HUD's approach does not work for homeless families.  Please go to 
"I've Got the YWCA's Back" to find out how you can help us in these efforts!

YWCA Girls Graduation
Celebrating the "Go" in Goals
YWCA Girl 2015 graduation class
Monday, May 11, 2015 was a special day for 24 young women, seniors in high school and members of YWCA Girl. They were honored in a graduation ceremony at the Newark Public Library. Among this group of impressive young ladies, the graduating class of 2015, there were valedictorians, scholarship winners, first-generation college applicants and military enrollees.  Their diversity and strong commitment made it a productive and exciting year for them and their mentors.  As one graduating senior told Youth Advisor Carla Penny, " If there was one thing I could tell incoming freshmen it would be to decide what you want to do, stay focused and do what it takes to make it happen."
When a girl enters YW Girl as a freshman in high school, she may not have achievable dreams or goals. Four years later, after a program that includes college planning, employment skills, personal growth activities, public speaking, work on self-awareness, attitudes for success, career exploration , financial literacy and leadership training, she can put the "go" in goals for her future. 

Youth Advisor Stacey Johnson speaks highly of her first class of YWCA Girl graduates: "What I will always remember about these girls is that they were driven, inspired and committed to their futures. Through their constant desire to 'do better, do more', the girls made my job easier!" 

Invest in What's Next 
YWCA Breakfast Celebration Fundraiser
Thursday, November 5, 2015    8 to 9 am
Chase Center on the Riverfront
Doors open at 7:15 am
Please Register online now. 
A special thanks to our generous sponsors (to date): 
JP Morgan Chase
Multicultural Judges and Lawyers Section
of the Delaware Bar Association
Barbacane, Thornton & Company, LLP
Delmarva Power
Potter Anderson & Carroon, LLP
 United Way of Delaware

Rewarding Extraordinary Women
Academy of Women Leaders 
YWCA Delaware will be accepting nominations until
October 1, 2015, for women within the community who exemplify leadership while demonstrating a commitment to YWCA Delaware's mission: Eliminating Racism and Empowering Women.
For more information on the Academy or to submit a nomination,
please contact Joan Miller
Serving Victims of Terrifying Violence
YWCA Sexual Assault Response Center

SARC, YWCA Sexual Assault Response Center, started taking calls in the spring of 2015. The mission of the center is to respond to all forms of sexual violence by providing specialized crisis intervention services, comprehensive prevention and education programs, and advocacy for the rights of victims. 


The service is modeled on the hundreds of other effective centers delivering core rape crisis services throughout the nationOngoing program evaluations will also contribute to understanding what services are most needed, how to deliver them in the most effective way and how to address barriers to accessibility, and the needs of special populations.

Eight core services are provided, including: 24/7 assault response helpline; accompanying and advocacy for victims; sexual assault after care and counseling; walk-in resource center and support groupsinformation, referral services, community outreach and prevention education.

MOT Charter Calls on the YWCA

Meeting the Challenge of Keeping Students in School

Middletown-Odessa-Townsend Charter was faced with the possibility that 24 incoming freshman would fail.  Short academic credits, they were told that they needed six more by the end of the school year to return in the fall of 2015. The staff of YWCA student-girl.jpg Girl introduced the college readiness program to the school administration, adapting the curriculum to include boys. The YW got the go-ahead and although the students were reluctant at first to cooperate with outsiders, they became more comfortable as the program progressed. In fact, the students reported that they began to look forward to the workshops and discussions. Eventually each young person agreed to a plan of action and collaborated on an Individual Success Plan, or ISP.
The outcomes were encouraging for the intervention, with 25% earning enough credits to return to MOT Charter and 50% improving their attendance. The YWCA was asked to return for the next school year to build on this success.

YWCA Helps an Underwater Homeowner
Working Together to Make a Mortgage "Float"
House Under Water
Mortgage problems began for Raymond and Elise when due to the economic downturn in 2008, Raymond lost his mechanical contracting business.  He worked several part-time jobs, but the income was not enough to cover their variable rate mortgage.
The couple came to the YW Home Ownership program in March of 2014.  They worked with a counselor for over a year, determined to keep their home. In November of 2014 they attended mediation and in March of this year they were approved for a fixed 2% interest rate.  They are confident this is a payment structure they can manage.

YWCA ESTEEM and Prevention Works -
Programs that Meet Youth Where They Are
This year, McCollough Middle School asked the YWCA to facilitate four sessions of the ESTEEM program. This interactive workshop focuses on self-awareness, diversity, goal setting, building healthy relationships and using social media.  All of the participants reported in their evaluations that they gained a greater appreciation for people whose culture, interests, racial or ethnic background differ from their own and that they now understand that differences do not have to lead to conflict.
The Substance Abuse  Prevention Program, Prevention Works, a part of ESTEEM programming, was launched at Shue-Medill and proved to be an inspiring six week project. The girls made a presentation at the end of the sessions to their peers, teachers and parents.  The staff was encouraged by the enthusiasm and almost 100 % participation each week. There were lively group discussions, guest speakers and the group researched the effects of drug and alcohol use. They also learned critical refusal techniques and developed a safety plan to get out of situations that could result in bad choices. With an emphasis on finding alternatives to drug and alcohol use, the girls painted, styled hair on mannequins, wrote music and poetry and even learned to knit. They agreed, at the closing ceremony, that learning new hobbies and skills would help them avoid negative habits.
One of the success stories was a girl who entered the program with a history of cutting classes, wandering the halls and had the reputation as "loner" in the school.  During the Prevention Works program she was always present, worked hard on her projects and spoke candidly with the youth advisor about her avoiding issues that caused her pain.  She fit in with the other girls and became a leader of the group.

Upcoming Events
We Will Miss You if You Don't Come!
YWCA Mission Tours
You may have attended a tour of Home-Life Management Center in the past, but come and see what is happening in this life-changing space now, including a brief overview of all our programs and services. Here are the upcoming tour dates and times. Please remember to bring your friends!
September 10th
5:30 pm - 6:30 pm
September 24th
Former Board Member
Reception and Special Tour
12:00 pm - 2:00 pm
5:00 pm - 7:00 pm
October 22nd
5:30 pm - 6:30 pm
October 28th
Last tour before Breakfast
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
December 17th
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
We need to know if you are coming, so please e-mail RSVP with your name and the number of guests. Thank you!