This morning the YWCA of Calgary issued a request for an Expression of Interest (EOI), seeking submissions from property developers to partner in the planning and development of a new YWCA facility in Calgary’s city centre.

The YWCA is seeking potential land development partners to bring forward creative ideas to best leverage the YWCA’s property, the full city block where the current downtown facility stands.

The YWCA is looking for creative ideas for an exciting new development that can meet the organization’s needs to ensure the safety, accessibility and dignity of women and families requiring YWCA support.

Why a new building?

For 103 years, the YWCA has been part of the Calgary community. As the city has grown and changed, we have adapted to meet the needs of vulnerable women. To continue to fulfill our mission of women thriving, not residing, we need to support women and their families differently than we did in the past.

Our client base is now dominated by those who identify as Aboriginal or new to Canada with needs that are very different from those of past decades; many of our clients require language and training support, employment skills and education.

Our emergency shelters and transitional housing programs are consistently full. In 2013, there were 2,475 requests for admission to our YWCA Sheriff King Home emergency shelter. Of those requests, 1,471 were unable to be accommodated due to capacity – 1,059 of the requests included children.

Our resources are currently scattered among multiple sites, our heating and maintenance costs are astronomical and nearly half of our square footage is occupied by an unusable fitness centre. A new building will offer us flexible, adaptable spaces to expand and contract programs and services to meet the needs of vulnerable women in Calgary, when and where they need us most. For more information, visit our EOI page.