June 6, 2013
Homelessness, domestic violence and racism are uncomfortable subjects that are often avoided in society, especially in social situations. YWhisper is designed to encourage this “uncomfortable conversation.” The YWCA Central Alabama will hold its second annual YWhisper today – Thursday, June 6th at REV Birmingham’s SocialVenture event space located at 5529 1st Avenue South.
For 110 years, the YWCA has been focused on serving women, children and families through our four major program areas – social justice, child care, domestic violence services and high quality, affordable housing. However, communities sometimes find themselves in need of a helping hand as well – like Woodlawn.
This year YWhisper will highlight the neighborhood revitalization work being done by the YWCA in Woodlawn. This work, known as “YWoodlawn,” has boldly invested in this neighborhood and has included the development and opening of a state-of-the-art Interfaith Hospitality House (IHH), which will be the recipient of all funds raised during this event. IHH is one of Alabama's only permanent facilities serving two parent families experiencing homelessness. IHH offers shelter and supportive services for up to seven families at a time and the assistance needed to move them out of homelessness.
YWoodlawn has raised the community’s self image while also attracting outside interest in investing in the neighborhood such as – the Woodlawn Foundation, the Dream Center, Christ Health Center and many others. This has led to the creation of Woodlawn United, a partnership of merchants, the YWCA, a local Main Street organization, resident, area schools, churches and nonprofit organizations all working together to holistically revitalize Woodlawn.
Also being highlighted this year is the YWCA Creating Responsible Educated Working (CREW) Teens summer job program. This summer 20 teenagers, male and female, will work in small teams either in Woodlawn or at the United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) Summer Camp while developing important job and academic skills along the way. In additional to earning a small stipend for their participation in this program, CREW members will also participate in a weekly “enrichment” day that includes travel to different sites with educational and entertaining opportunities.
SocialVenture, located in Woodlawn, is in the heart of a revitalization district. It is a partnership between REV and Woodlawn Foundation. SocialVenture is a co-working space and business community where non-profits, social entrepreneurs, freelancers and small business owners work in a collaborate environment. A former warehouse, SocialVenture boasts historic character and modern amenities in a revitalized space where REV is energizing businesses to create vibrancy.
The YWCA would like to extend our thanks to event co-chairs Jay Saxon and Regan Liggins, as well as the rest of the YWhisper committee members. To learn more about YWhisper or to purchase tickets please click here. If you are unable to attend but would like to make a donation please click here.