Friday, March 6, 2020

YWCA and StreetWise to join forces

World War I poster (Metropolitan Museum of Art)
    Businesses gobble up each other every day.
     But only rarely do charities, and then usually because one is in crisis. Which is why my curiosity was piqued hearing that YWCA Metropolitan Chicago is absorbing StreetWise.
     Every Chicagoan who strolls downtown knows the latter—the weekly magazine that homeless folks buy for 90 cents then hawk on street corners for two bucks a copy, as pedestrians drop their heads and hurry by or occasionally—as I sometimes do, out of solidarity for fellow journalists—buy a copy. It’s a surprisingly lively publication.
     I’d always assumed the YWCA is the distaff version of YMCA, maybe with special lady gyms I’ve never had reason to encounter or imagine. Wrong.
     ”Our mission we’re focused on is eliminating racism and empowering women,” said Dorri McWhorter, CEO of YWCA Metro Chicago. “And promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all.”
     I bit back the question, “And how is that eliminating racism thing going?” and instead asked what they do, specifically, to advance those ends. The YWCA has dozens of programs, promoting child care, fighting child abuse, encouraging more inclusive, less biased workplaces, and working with CHA residents.
     ”Providing high quality support for training and education,” she said. “As well as sexual violence support services.”
     Such as the Chicago Area Rape Crisis Hotline—1-888-293-2080.

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