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Local YWCA Aligns Itself With Depaul

Nadia Summo of the YWCA and Greg Withers of DePaul.

The YWCA of the Roanoke Valley has announced that they plan to merge with DePaul Community Resources, a Roanoke based non-profit serving children, adults and families with special needs.  In doing so, the YWCA will transfer its assets to DePaul and disaffiliate from the national YWCA.  The transition will become effective in late summer or early fall of 2011.

For many years, the YWCA has operated almost exclusively as a homeless shelter for women and children.  Over the past several years the organization has been acutely aware of a decline in the bed utilization rates at their facility, a direct result of other organizations in the valley offering the same services.

This collaboration is an effort to more effectively utilize donor contributions and allocate resources in the community that better meet the needs of women, children and their families – a mission shared by both DePaul and the YWCA.  Current government funding granted to the YWCA will be reallocated to other area shelters, thereby reducing total community cost in housing the homeless.

“The YWCA has a proud history of human services addressing homelessness for women in the Roanoke Valley,” said Nadia Summo, President of the Board of Directors for the YWCA of the Roanoke Valley.  “Throughout history, the community has entrusted us with a responsibility to be the best stewards we can be of funding and resources that allow these services to continue.  However, we live in a completely different world that we did 100 years ago, and part of being a good steward is knowing when change is necessary.”

The decision was unanimous to select DePaul to be the recipient of the YWCA’s assets as well as the proceeds from the sale of the current YWCA facility, located at 605 First Street in Roanoke, which is now on the market listed for $2,050,000.   The building is in need of major renovations and restoration.

“We have tremendous admiration for the accomplishments of the YWCA,” said Greg Withers, President of the Board of Directors for DePaul Community Resources. “While we recognize that this was a difficult decision, we are grateful for the opportunity.  The collaboration with the YWCA will be a tremendous boost to our own programming, allowing us to better serve our constituents and continue the mission of a well respected institution.  To ensure continuity, we are excited to welcome two YWCA board members, Nadia Summo and Tammie Yarter, to DePaul Community Resources’ Board.”

DePaul has had a community presence throughout the Southwest Virginia area since 1977.  Currently, DePaul focuses on four core areas:  Treatment Foster Care, Development Disabilities, Clinical Services and Adoption.  DePaul not only serves foster children, but offers them transitional services and housing upon their exit from the foster care system in an effort to prevent homelessness in the Roanoke area.  Through their Independent Living service, they offer youth ages 17 to 21 an opportunity to live in an apartment setting and begin to learn the skills necessary to transition to adulthood.

Over the next two months, the YWCA will be working directly with its constituents, as well as other non-profits and organizations throughout the region to ensure a smooth transition and that all needs are met.  “We are working with area shelters and agencies that work with the homeless population, such as Trust House, to guarantee that the women and children who currently reside in our facility have a place to go,” said Summo.  “The well-being of our Y family is our top priority.”

DePaul will continue with the YWCA’s tradition of the “Women of Achievement Awards” which recognize women of the Roanoke Valley who have made significant contributions to the community through their career achievements, leadership qualities and volunteer activities.  DePaul will host this event in the fall of 2011.

To learn more about DePaul Community Resources, go to or call 540-265-8923.

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