I attended the YWCA’s Neighbour Day festivities on June 15th to get a sneak-a-peek tour of the new ‘YW Hub’ complete in construction and scheduled to officially open its doors September 1, 2019.
Community and neighbourhood collaboration were focal points around the visioning, design and construction of the YW’s new, state-of-the-art building. Members of the Inglewood community were involved and consulted early and repeatedly in the planning for the YW Hub facility. To thank them for their cooperation, patience and support during the planning and building process, YW invited Inglewood neighbours and community members for a barbeque, family-friendly activities and a sneak-a-peak tour of the facility on Neighbour Day.
It was the devastation of the 2013 flood that accelerated the decision for the YWCA to seek a new home. Drastically different than their dated, mission-prohibiting building downtown, the beautiful space in Inglewood will empower the organization to better serve the women and families of Calgary.
When walking into the new building, I instantly noticed how bright and happy the environment felt. In addition to all the natural light spilling in, the calm, muted tones and polished surfaces give the space a peaceful, sanctuary feel. For many who will be entering the doors of YW in years to come – many coming on the worst day of their lives – it will be important for them to find a nurturing environment to support in their healing journey.
In addition to 100 individual transitional housing rooms, the YW Hub will also offer language and employment supports, childcare, counselling and child development programs. This new home will support thousands of women and families to build brighter futures and will enable YW to ensure they are able to continue providing much needed programs and services for years to come. The community can also enjoy this beautiful space by joining the co-ed Fitness Centre or hosting an event in the Community Kitchen or multi-purpose spaces opening to the public October, 2019.
I was among more than 400 neighbours attending YW’s Neighbour Day on June 15th, eager to tour their new home and excited to welcome them to the community. It made me proud to see the outpour of support and excitement as people shared their stories and toured through the space with their families; proud to be living in a forward-thinking and inclusive community.
By: Christina P.