Makin’ It Happen continued our weekly forum, ‘I’m ok, are you ok?’ Wednesday with presentations from the Granite YMCA and the YWCA NH. Attendees heard from Jessica Goodine-Riendeau, Community Outreach Director at the YMCA and Katie Parent, YWCA REACH Program Manager, on how physical distancing and stay at home orders has changed their organization. They discussed what shifts they plan to make to provide safe, secure programming and facilities as they prepare for the stay at home order to be lifted.
The YMCA discussed their programming first. Goodine-Riedeau explained that Granite YMCA is the largest YMCA north of Boston. The Y is more than a gym, it’s a cause that helps bring about lasting personal and social change.
During this time the YMCA is offering Emergency Child Care through their child care programming. Child care which is vital allowing essential workers to continue going to their jobs. The YMCA has moved many of their services online through Facebook groups, online exercise classes and online support for children and their families. They are also providing to-go meals to families in need through their Nourishing Youth Program. Families can pick up meals every weekday from 4:30 – 5:30 pm until schools reopen. To learn more about all the YMCA has to offer visit https://www.graniteymca.org/.
Katie Parent of the YWCA organization presented a detailed overview of the services currently available. Although the offices for the YWCA are located in Manchester, the service area expands to a total of nine communities. The YMCA is dedicated to eliminating racism, empowering women, and promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all.
The YWCA continues to serve the community 24/7 with their hotline which can be reached at 603.668.2299. The YWCA has launched a web chat and SMS text line Monday-Friday 9:00AM-4:30PM which can be accessed online at https://www.ywcanh.org/reach. Generally the YWCA provides accompaniments to individuals in need at hospitals, child advocacy centers, court houses, police stations and doctor’s offices. With COVID-19 they are responding in-person upon request. The YWCA continues to work hand in hand with DCYF. Usually, the YWCA offers emergency shelter through Emily’s House but in response to COVID-19 they have been finding alternative shelter in order to limit exposure to residents. Additionally, they support the Manchester ACERT Team by responding out to the community to children that have experienced trauma. The YMCA serves all individuals and services are free and confidential.
Initially at the beginning of NH the stay at home order, the YWCA was logging less calls to their crisis hotline than normal, which was a concern, however, calls are now reaching normal levels. To learn more about the YWCA please visit https://www.ywcanh.org/.
Both of these organizations are vital to the communities they serve. We are so lucky to have them! To view the entire forum please press play on the video below:
Please join us next week for a special National Prevention Week ‘I’m ok, are you ok’. Details will be available on our social media and website by Friday.