YWCA of Northwest Indiana is a community service non-profit that has been serving the Gary, Indiana and surrounding region for 100 years. We are your neighbors, your coaches and friends, the merchants and civil servants that live and work here, the people you commute with, stand next to on line at the grocery store, chat with in our parks and houses of worship, and say good morning to when you start your day.
YWCA of Northwest Indiana is dedicated to eliminating racism, empowering women and promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all.
We transform lives by mobilizing our diverse community to provide vibrant opportunities and experiences that strive to diminish racial and gender disparities in health, education and wealth attainment, as we prepare future generations to sustain these endeavors.
What’s so special about the YWCA of Northwest Indiana?
It’s a well-established institution. The YWCA of Northwest Indiana will celebrate its 100th year of service in October 2020! The Young Women’s Christian Association of Northwest Indiana traces its roots to a branch office that was located at 30 E. 6th Avenue in downtown Gary. Established in 1920 with a strong commitment to serve, the YWCA has become a well-established institution – serving the community. In December 2000, the YWCA proudly opened a brand new facility located at 150 W. 15th Avenue in Gary, which houses the only indoor public pool in the city of Gary as well as a gymnasium, dance studio, fitness room, meeting center.
The YWCA of NWI provides a safe and clean environment in Gary’s urban core and is host to an array of health, education, social and recreation programs. The YWCA brings the community together with healthy, enriching activities for the mind, body and spirit.
It’s committed. Through programs serving children, adolescents, adults, and the elderly, including its “Yes We CAn!” youth enrichment program, water and land aerobics classes, a free senior lunch program, its local Methodist Hospital and other health-related workshops, the YWCA of NWI is committed to programs that address community impact areas of Health and Education because of disparities that disproportionately impact the predominately African American population we serve including high school graduation rates; teen pregnancy; and lifestyle-related health conditions such as obesity, diabetes, hypertension, heart disease and stroke.
Its need is evident. The need for programs that address the educational attainment and health outcome disparities in the African American community nationally is well documented. Based on increasing membership and usage of the facility for educational programs, fitness activities, after-school programming, disease prevention, intervention programs and community meetings and events, the need is evident in the urban core of Gary.
Community partnerships are a vital tool in performing our duties with afterschool programming. Partnerships include Indiana University Northwest (internships), Purdue University Northwest, Grace Girls Foundation, Marram Health Center and Methodist Hospitals. Since 2009 and currently, YWCA of NWI has collaborated with such organizations as PAT (Parents as Teachers), Purdue University’s Extended Food and Nutrition Program (EFNEP), the Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana and our local Food Bank to provide students and families with nutrition based seminars, cooking classes and access to healthy food. The YWCA of NWI also partners with the Gary Community School Corporation, the City of Gary, the Boys & Girls Club (to refer kids needing extra fitness), and WellPoint (to host on-site health fairs).
We will sustain the work with collaborations from partnerships of IUN, Purdue University Northwest, Methodist Hospitals and additional funding from grants (WellPoint Foundation, Verizon, Lake Area United Way, Anderson Foundation and Legacy Foundation. We will market through promotions using the social media (face book, twitter and e-mail) for membership impact.
As we commemorate our 100th birthday in October 2020, we will keep the momentum going. The YWCA of Northwest Indiana continues to be the “gathering place” for our community.
We know that together, with your support, we are changing lives for the better