YWCA Quad Cities Empowerment Center to grow services with $1.6m grant

The YWCA Quad Cities Empowerment Center has been awarded $1.6 million to expand the services...
The YWCA Quad Cities Empowerment Center has been awarded $1.6 million to expand the services and programs currently offered, and offer additional services and programs to Iowans in need.(kwqc ywca quad cities)
Published: Sep. 15, 2022 at 2:51 PM CDT
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QUAD CITIES, Iowa (KWQC) - The YWCA Quad Cities Empowerment Center has been awarded $1.6 million to expand the services and programs currently offered, and offer additional services and programs to Iowans in need.

The grant is part of a $40 million in grant funding for 24 Iowa projects through the Nonprofit Innovation Fund Governor Reynolds announced on Sept. 14. Funding for this grant opportunity is made available through the federal American Rescue Plan Act.

“We received an overwhelming interest in this unique grant program, which highlights the passion of Iowa’s nonprofits and their positive impact on our state,” said Gov. Reynolds.

According to the YWCA, as with most nonprofits, the pandemic greatly impacted its financial resources. As a satellite location for YWCA Quad Cities, the Iowa Empowerment Center is operated and funded through its parent organization.

“Unfortunately, the lost revenue impacted our ability to provide additional food, essential items and extend services to meet the needs of the most vulnerable in Iowa,” said Iowa Empowerment Center Executive Director, Deanna Woodall. “Being awarded this grant will allow the Iowa Empowerment Center to serve the ever-growing population of individuals in need in our local community.”

The Iowa Empowerment Center opened in Davenport in early October 2019 as a satellite location for YWCA Quad Cities and has allowed for an expanded reach and service to more people and other families in the Iowa Quad Cities with zero barriers to entry, the YWCA said.

Pre-COVID the Empowerment Center was serving 10-15 clients per week; now it is regularly serving 10-15 new clients per day, according to the YWCA. The pandemic reinforced the need for employment training programs and services that meet the immediate needs of Iowans.

The Empowerment Center has expanded within the same facility it started in, but it has become abundantly clear that its current space is not able to serve the growing needs of the community, the YWCA said. A community needs assessment was done and after reviewing all options, it was determined acquiring and renovationg an existing facility would be the best option to meet the needs of individuals and families.

According to YWCA officials, the Iowa Empowerment Center has entered a purchase agreement for a 13,190 sq. ft. facility located just 3 blocks north of the current office space. The property acquisition is expected to be completed in October, with a goal of renovations to begin in November.

“Receiving this grant to allow us to expand services and programming in the Iowa Quad Cities will be a game changer for this community,” Julie Larson, President & CEO of YWCA Quad Cities said. “We are honored to be selected as an Iowa agency to serve those in need in the great state of Iowa and more importantly, right here in our own community.”

YWCA Quad Cities said it lives its mission of eliminating racism, empowering women, and promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all.