CHICAGO – YWCA Metropolitan Chicago and YWCA Lake County have merged operations under the YWCA Metropolitan Chicago banner, paving the way for more comprehensive services across the region.
Both organizations are part of a national network of YWCAs, long sharing a mission of eliminating racism and empowering women.
YWCA Lake County’s vital work will continue, including child care resource and referral, youth development, economic empowerment, and health and wellness services. The merger will bring new programming to Lake County, including child care provider support and additional workforce development, mental health, and diversity, equity and inclusion services.
YWCA Metropolitan Chicago CEO Dorri McWhorter said the merger benefits communities across Lake County.
“By coming together, we are stronger and can more effectively meet the growing challenges faced by families and individuals across our region,’’ McWhorter said.
Board President Joycelyn Winnecke said the merger aligns with YWCA Metropolitan Chicago’s evolution from traditional social services agency to social enterprise.
“This helps ensure that more people receive the direct services they need every day, even as we work to find solutions to the complex problems we face today,’’ Winnecke said.
The YWCA Gurnee office will remain open while the organization explores additional Lake County locations. For YWCA Metropolitan Chicago, the Gurnee site marks its 11th location. YWCA Metropolitan Chicago has long served Chicago, as well as suburban Cook, DuPage, Kane and Will counties. There are suburban sites in Chicago Heights and Addison.
Gussie Daniels, former YWCA Lake County executive director, will remain with the YWCA through the merger process.
“By leveraging the strong infrastructure and innovative spirit of the YWCA Metropolitan Chicago team, we can build on our longstanding service to the residents of Lake County and create even more impact,” Daniels said.
Over the past seven years, YWCA Metropolitan Chicago has transformed from a traditional social service organization to a social enterprise committed to building a marketplace where everyone can thrive. Key to the organization’s transformation has been work across the enterprise and nonprofit sector to create efficiencies, improve access to services and deepen impact through expansion of programs. Some of the programmatic expansion has come through acquisition and strategic integration of other direct service and policy organizations, including Project HELP, Voices for Illinois Children and StreetWise.
Since embarking on this transformation, YWCA Metropolitan Chicago’s operating budget has grown from $10.5 million in 2013 to $35 million in 2021.
Source: The Daily Chronicle