YWCA Community Development Corporation
A healthy community and healthy neighbors
The YWCA has long supported legislation related to safe and affordable housing. Whether improved housing for migrant workers, subsidized housing in urban communities, or local ordinances to improve standards, YWCA members and volunteers have researched the issues, given testimony, written letters and taken action. As the largest provider of women's shelters in the country, housing is not just theoretical but practical. YWCAs provide battered women's shelters, residences for seniors, and transition housing. This experience is basic to our advocacy work on housing and shelter.
The YWCA El Paso has a long history of community development and management since 1909. It established its first housing in 1910 with a 52-bed residence and gymnasium for young women.
In 2002 the YWCA formed a separate Community Development Corporation (CDC) with its own Board of Directors in order to intensify its focus on both the delivery of housing and the integration of its programs into the communities the YWCA El Paso del Norte region serves.
At the YWCA, we believe that people who have support systems in place have a 90% chance of succeeding. Opened in 1993, The Transitional Living Center, a residential shelter for homeless women and their children, TLC offers a supportive environment of housing and counseling services to help homeless women make the transition to independent living. It serves up to 20 women and their children at a time and residents may stay for up to two years while they develop a self-sufficiency plan.
In collaboration with the Junior League of El Paso, a new residential facility was opened in 2000. Independence House provides "Bridging Housing" for women who have graduated from a transitional housing program, offering them the next step toward independent living.
Independence House supports women who are homeless due to family violence. Independence House is a mixed use facility consisting of eight apartments and commercial office space occupied by the YWCA Consumer Credit Counseling Services. Residents of Independence House are charged program fees not exceeding 30% of their monthly income.
The CDC has identified the senior housing market as one of the most critically underserved housing markets within El Paso - particularly in the Northeast and Lower Valley areas. With adjacent land opportunities at both YWCA branch sites, the CDC has begun the process necessary to zone, build, and manage independent senior living residences adjacent to these branches. The YWCA's objective is to create a community atmosphere that encourages aging in place. By co-locating adjacent to the YWCA branch, this housing provides unparalleled leverage of the assets necessary to construct and build housing, since none of the YWCA branch facility is charged to the development costs of the project.