End the Shutdown: Stop Hurting Women and Families

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End the Shutdown: Stop Hurting Women and Families

Categories: YWCA USA news


For Immediate Release:

The federal government shutdown that has been in effect since December is now the longest and costliest in history. The consequences of this shutdown are broad and deep. Impacted workers and families across the country are struggling to pay their bills, put food on the table, purchase needed medications, and pay for child care. From federal workers and contractors, to small businesses in the service industry, to families and organizations that depend on support from the federal government for critical services and support, this shutdown is causing immeasurable financial, emotional, and physical stress on families and communities.

At YWCA, we are very concerned about the impact the shutdown is having on the over 2 million women, families and communities we serve every year. As the largest network of domestic violence service providers in the country, many YWCAs are funded through the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), and were only informed last night that their funding would continue beyond the end of January. This uncertainty puts the safety of survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault at risk. Other federally-funded programs that enable YWCAs to meet needs in their communities are also at risk, such as the Child and Adult Care Food Program, which supports meal services in YWCA domestic violence shelters and child care centers. This shutdown threatens federal funding and programs that many YWCA clients rely on for food, housing, and other basic human needs.

Statement from YWCA USA CEO Alejandra Y. Castillo:

“Women, children and families shouldn’t be used as pawns in political games. People across the country are hurting right now, and the reverberations of this needless government shutdown will harm millions of people long after a resolution is made. And we know that women—especially women of color, Native women, low-income women, and survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault—and programs that serve women and families will bear the brunt of the shutdown.

“There are clear paths forward that will end this shutdown without gamesmanship over immigration or other policy issues. The impact this shutdown is having on families across the country is real and urgent. We call on Congress to immediately pass legislation that will reopen the government, and we urge the President to restore the functional government that our nation needs and deserves.

Children’s Alley Child Care Closed

On March 18, Governor Jared Polis signed an executive order suspending in-person learning in public and private schools across the state from March 23-April 17. In accordance with this, the YWCA is planning for Children’s Alley to remain closed until Monday, April 20. We will keep you updated weekly as we continue to monitor the rapidly changing situation.

It has been incredibly hard for us to temporarily close our doors knowing that this is creating additional strain on the families we serve and the children we love. While some childcare centers remain open, we are following safety recommendations from Colorado Public Health to close Children’s Alley. As a drop-in childcare center with different children every day, there is an increased risk of spreading COVID-19 and our highest priority has always been to provide quality care while keeping our staff and families healthy and safe.

We are committed to working through this time by identifying the most pressing needs of our community and creatively aligning resources and programming to address these pressing issues. We are staying up-to-date with Boulder County Public Health and will communicate our reopening as soon as it is a possibility.

For more information and community resources, please read our recent blog post.