YWCA program expands to Abbotsford

The city is among five new communities that will offer Single Mothers' Support Services.

The YWCA of Metro Vancouver is expanding its Single Mothers’ Support Services program to five new communities, including Abbotsford, thanks to a $450,000 investment from three B.C. credit unions.

The program works to ensure women parenting alone are able to achieve personal and economic independence. Funding from Coast Capital Savings, Vancity and Envision Financial (a division of First West Credit Union) allows support groups to be established in Surrey, Port Coquitlam, Aldergrove, Maple Ridge and Abbotsford.

Previously, single mothers had to travel into Vancouver for the service.

The YWCA program expansion is the result of the vision of three female credit union CEOs, Coast Capital’s Tracy Redies, Vancity’s Tamara Vrooman, and First West’s Launi Skinner, who decided to pool resources to ensure the much-needed services were available to more single mothers in Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley.

“I am inspired by the generosity of the three credit unions and the exceptional women who lead them,” said Janet Austin, CEO YWCA Metro Vancouver.

The funding is a three-year partnership with each credit union contributing $50,000 per year to the program. This will fund six new single mothers support groups, providing participants with the resources to gain employment, go back to school, or find safe and affordable housing. Participating moms will also receive child care information, legal education and other community support.

Moms will meet weekly with a trained facilitator while their children are in child care at a local community services centre.

For more information on the Single Mothers’ Support Services program and local group details, visit: www.ywcavan.org/singlemothers or telephone 604-895-5849.

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