On February 29th, 2012, the board of directors of the Greater Triangle YWCA abruptly shut down the last remaining local branch of the YWCA, located at the historic East Hargett street building in Raleigh, North Carolina. Staff and community members were given less than twenty-four hours notice to shut down critical resource programs that served pregnant teens, senior citizens, and grade school children needing after-school child care.
To add insult to injury, the dedicated staff members who administered these programs were not paid for their last two weeks of work. These staffers are now scrambling to find alternative programs for the bewildered clients of the East Hargett YWCA.
The Raleigh Young Women's Christian Association was first established in 1901, but during the era of legal segregation the Raleigh YWCA only admitted white women as members. The East Hargett branch was established by Black leaders in 1944 to serve the needs of Southeast Raleigh's majority African American community. The elder care and after-school programs of the East Hargett YWCA served a predominately African American clientele, and the loss of these valuable programs will hit Southeast Raleigh especially hard. Without the critical services, elders won't receive daily meals, pregnant teens won't have access to job training and parenting classes, and working parents won't have a safe place to send their kids after school.
The YWCA was built by hard-working women and their families. The center on East Hargett is a Raleigh institution. Save Our Jobs, Save the Y!