The West Broad Street YMCA learned today that it has received a $10,000 grant from the Mary Allen Lindsey Branan Foundation to provide scholarship assistance to low-wage earning families for children in early learning and after school programs.
These funds will help families keep their children in a quality learning environment while they are working, in school, or looking for work,” explained Peter Doliber, Executive Director. “This will help families continue to move to self sufficiency.”
Several years ago the West Broad Street YMCA launched an innovative program to assist working families and families seeking work.
For many it is nearly impossible to find work without some support for taking care of preschool age children. The same is true once work is found. And often there is a lag between starting work and receiving a paycheck. The Y, through grants and donations, started a partial scholarship assistance program.
Families apply for assistance based upon immediate need. A weekly rate is determined based upon a parent’s ability to pay. This is reviewed weekly until the parent is financially stable.
The West Broad Street Y also connects families to other community supports to help them with other needs including job training and education. The end goal is to help families attain financial independence and self sufficiency. The West Broad Street YMCA is one of five Heritage
YMCAs remaining in the country. Started in 1942 when Black soldiers were denied services at the then legally segregated YMCA, it was charted with YMCA of the USA in 1947.
Originally located on what is now MLK Blvd., the Y moved to its current location on May Street to serve the Public Housing Authority neighborhoods of Kayton and Frazier in 1968.
The West Broad Street YMCA now serves all of downtown Savannah, providing quality early learning, before and after school programs, summer enrichment, GED classes, adult job preparation, a public library, swimming, an organic garden, and recreation. Its mission is to prepare children and adults to achieve their maximum potential.