Residents’ BBQ Stirs the Communal Spirit of the YWCA

September 25, 2013

Yesterday afternoon, folks from all of the YWCA’s housing facilities came together for the Annual Residents’ BBQ. Residents from the YWCA’s Downtown, Rosedale Senior Housing, Four Winds East Apartments and Mainstream Housing were invited to come down to the YWCA for some delicious, free BBQ as well as other Southern favorites like baked beans, potato salad and sweet tea. Every year, the residents’ BBQ is a great opportunity for tenants to socialize and learn more about the ever-growing community in the YWCA housing facilities.

The YWCA provides many opportunities for a wide variety of individuals and families that are in need. With over five different facilities in Jefferson and St. Clair counties, those in need are able to find the location that best accommodates their current life challenges. In downtown Birmingham, the YWCA provides 23 furnished apartments that operate as transitional housing for singles and single mothers with young children. These apartments allow individuals and families to transition from living in an emergency shelter to becoming economically self-sufficient. Supportive services for these apartments include case management, financial literacy, job skill training and transportation services. There are also 41 permanent housing apartments in the downtown building.

Another housing facility of the YWCA is the Interfaith Hospitality House, one of the few permanent facilities in the state of Alabama serving two parent families experiencing homelessness. Located in the Woodlawn community, the Interfaith Hospitality House offers shelter and supportive services for up to seven families at a time. Like our downtown transitional apartments, this facility works to get tenants back on their feet by offering services including employment readiness skill-building and transportation service. Along with this housing, in Woodlawn, the YWCA has completed a neighborhood revitalization, called YWoodlawn, in order to bring safe, decent and affordable housing to the community. YWoodlawn also has 58 permanent housing apartments.

For those in need of senior and disability assistance, the YWCA also provides permanent housing in the Rosedale Senior Housing in Homewood and the Four Winds East facilities in Avondale. The Rosedale and Four Winds East facilities provide a wide variety of accommodation for disabled and elderly individuals including all-electric features and completely wheelchair accessible floor plans.

Allison Schuver, Housing Specialist at the YWCA, explains the supportive and communal attitude with which the Housing staff operates: “The YWCA’s Housing Department is committed to providing excellent housing and supportive programming for women, children and families in order to ensure equal and fair access to a variety of housing types to accommodate multiple needs, doing so in a manner that upholds the dignity of each person it is privileged to serve.  The Annual Residents’ BBQ, as well as other events offered to residents throughout the year, is one way for the Housing Department to enhance the YWCA’s supportive environment for its residents, to offer an enjoyable living experience and social opportunities in addition to meeting basic housing needs.“

The atmosphere of friendly fellowship at the BBQ, the wide variety of faces and backgrounds, exemplified the supportive and communal aspect of our services. When it comes to helping individuals and families get back on their own feet, events like the BBQ show that the YWCA’s services are not just to help solve problems, but to help build strong foundations. Building strong foundations for people involves looking forward and cultivating a spirit of endurance and pride. This motivation is behind every operation here at the YWCA.


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