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City readies site of new YWCA Hub in Inglewood

Calgary Herald with Sue Tomney 05 July 2018

The YWCA Calgary is getting a financial boost from the federal government for its new home campus in Inglewood.

Dubbed the YW Hub, the $60-million facility will provide community supports for women and their families once construction is completed in the spring of 2019.

The Hub will be able to support transitional housing for 100 at-risk women while offering counselling, language and employment skills training, child-care facilities and parenting programming.

Amarjeet Sohi, federal minister of infrastructure, made the announcement of $6 million in funding for the building on Thursday and said the federal government is behind the YWCA’s goal to “build health community and healthy individuals.”

“We’re really focused on building social infrastructure, and this really ties into that goal of making sure everyone has the opportunity to succeed,” Sohi said.

The federal funding was made possible through the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program, bringing federal and provincial governments together to fund infrastructure projects to stimulate economic growth and support communities.

Alberta Minister of Infrastructure Sandra Jansen said the YW Hub is the “perfect example” of the program’s community benefits.

“When women and children have supports around them when they’re fleeing a situation of domestic … it makes that transition so much easier,” Jensen said. “It’s an incredibly long journey to get to a place of self sufficiency, and to have this facility help them along the way is really incredible and wonderful.”

The YW Hub will replace the downtown location of YW Calgary, which has already been sold. It will be the organization’s first new building in almost 50 years and YWCA Calgary CEO Sue Tomney said the Hub will allow the organization to continue its 100 year tradition of helping women in Calgary.

She said the Hub will also include time capsules in their construction, similar to ones found during the demolition of their old campus, and the YWCA will be reaching out to the community for what to include in the capsules.

The federal funds are on top of the province’s $8.6 million invested through the project and another $567,000 in funds from the city.

Mayor Naheed Nenshi said the YWCA Hub will go a long way toward helping women in Calgary struggling with domestic violence issues.

“It’s really important, because while it looks like we’re celebrating a building going up what we’re really celebrating is Calgary’s community looking after among the most vulnerable people in our community,” Nenshi said.