Since Covid-19 hit almost exactly one year ago, every organization has had to face serious questions about how it operates, whether it is meeting its clients’ needs, and what changes should be made going forward.
YWCA Hamilton is no different. Covid-19 has exposed many of the deep needs in our community, and it has also given us an opportunity to reflect on how we can best serve those who rely on YWCA Hamilton for shelter, housing, escaping violence, education and support. The pandemic has also offered us a chance to reimagine our space to make sure we’re providing the most essential programs and services to the community.
With this in mind, our leadership has made the difficult decision to permanently close the pool at YWCA Hamilton’s 75 MacNab Street South location.
We realize that this space meant so much to many members of our community. We know that so many Hamiltonians have had meaningful experiences in the pool over the years, from learning how to swim, to exercising after breast cancer, to finding a safe space in Hamilton’s only public pool reserved exclusively for women. We are committed to honouring and celebrating these memories over the next several months.
In terms of what’s next for the space, the exact future has yet to be determined. We are currently examining how we can best use this valuable space to serve the current and most pressing needs of women, girls, and families in the community.
We are pleased to share that together with the City of Hamilton, our valued community partner, we will ensure that members who previously used the pool are informed about alternative programs and pools in their communities. This partnership will also allow for continued collaboration, especially when it comes to supporting programs and services unique to YWCA Hamilton. This includes opportunities for affordable access to recreation, women’s only programming, and other community events and therapeutic programs.
We want to thank the staff and volunteers who made our pool such a welcoming, friendly place for so many years. Their efforts and years of service have been invaluable to everyone who visited the pool.
We’d like to thank everyone in the community for their continued support and understanding as we take this step. Together, we can make life better for women, girls, and families in Hamilton.