Meet Your Turning Point Funding Recipients
Turning Point Giving Circle funding
Every year, members of the Turning Point Giving Circle democratically vote as a collective group to award program funding to a special YWCA Hamilton program and an individual who is turning their life around.
In 2018, YWCA Hamilton’s Carole Anne’s Place and Amal received special funding from the Turning Point Giving Circle. Here are the stories:
YWCA’S Carole Anne’s Place – Staying Warm Through the Winter Months
Each year, over 60,000 Canadian women access emergency shelters. In Hamilton, there is a severe lack of affordable housing and emergency shelter solutions. Women and children remain the fastest growing segment of the homeless population.
Because of you, YWCA Hamilton is moving women from homelessness to hope.
Through a partnership with Out of the Cold, YWCA launched Carole Anne’s place, a two-year pilot project and temporary shelter inside the gymnasium of the 55+ Active Living Centre at YWCA Hamilton’s MacNab Street location. YWCA’s Carole Anne’s Place operates during the coldest months of the year, through December and March, between 10 p.m. and 8 a.m. Every evening, Carole Anne’s Place is at full capacity welcoming between 11-17 women per night. Annually, YWCA Hamilton serves over 115 women though Carole Anne’s Place, providing a safe haven and warm place to rest.
Your generous gift through the Turning Point Giving Circle last year provided warm meals and breakfast items to women who called YWCA’s Carole Anne’s Place home.
Your contributions were especially appreciated on weekends as most other outreach or drop-in centres are closed.
YWCA Hamilton is proud to share that 20 of these women who visited Carole Anne’s over the course of four months were referred to shelters and two women found housing.
Amal’s Journey – YWCA’s Turning Point Award Recipient
Since receiving YWCA Hamilton’s Turning Point Award at last year’s Women of Distinction event, Amal has been keeping busy.
As she reflected on receiving the award, she remembers shaking because she was so overjoyed.
“I was so nervous! I knew that I would be receiving this award but nothing could have prepared me for that moment,” said Amal.
Amal is living her dream. She is currently caring for two children – a boy and a girl under the age of two years old. She cares for the boy (18 months) every day and the girl (one-year-old) one to two times a week through her family home day care business, supported by the funds received through the Turning Point Award. Amal is working toward expanding her business and hopes to take care of one more child in her home.
“A boy that I’ve cared for has recently moved back to Saudi Arabia with his family,” says Amal.
Amal reflects on the impact caregiving has had on her and the relationships she’s made while carrying out her at home business. “I miss him dearly. He was with me for four and a half years, and I now keep in touch with him and his family through over Facetime and WhatsApp.” She met the boy’s mother through YWCA’s Woman Alive! Program.
Today, Amal is working on getting her driver’s license so she can come back and volunteer or work at YWCA Hamilton.
Following an accident, Amal has had to relocate to Hamilton Mountain to support her husband’s recovery.
“I miss the empowering community at the YWCA,” shares Amal.
“And, I am thankful for the experiences I have had through the Woman Alive! Program and the opportunities YWCA gave me. I will be back.”
Woman Alive! is a program designed for women who face financial barriers to participating in physical activity programs. The program includes group fitness classes and health education delivered by qualified fitness staff and is offered at a subsidized rate.