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Programs > Success Stories 

The YWCA of Greater Memphis has many success stories, and here are just a few from the past month. Read more about our programs and services, or contact us for more information.

AWS Shelter

A young lady arrived at the AWS shelter with her notepad in her hand. As she sat in the chair and began to cry she said “I can’t believe I’m here.”  The notepad had information on how to get out safely. She stated that she had called the hotline and talked with someone who listened to her and told her what she needed to do to leave. She decided to follow the advice that was given and when she saw her opportunity to leave, she ran and refused to look back.  The client stated, “It took months and patience, but God made a way for me to escape.”  She was thankful to have a place to stay, and she longed for just a good nights sleep.  

Already working full-time and with childcare in place, the young woman made sure she saved up her next couple of checks, and she was referred to the Homeless prevention and Rapid Re-housing program through the City of Memphis. Her process moved very quickly, and she was able to obtain her own apartment in just a little over two weeks. She is doing well and has adjusted to her new environment.

AWS Court Advocacy

An AWS Court Advocacy client called extremely upset because her abuser had her utilities disconnected. The client went to court and was given a full one year order of protection against her abuser. The judge specifically stated the abuser was to take his name off of the utilities and pay the remaining balance so that our client could get the utilities put in her name. The judge ordered the abuser out of the marital residence as well.  Our client has a minor child living with her and she was unable to get MLGW to restore her service over the phone or in person. Previously MLGW told our client that all she had to do was pay the remaining balance and they would restore her power.

The YWCA was able to get The Crimes Victims Center and MALS OPP Program to provide funds to pay the client's balance. When our client went to pay the balance she was told by an MLGW representative that the abuser would have to give them the “okay” to restore her power.  A YWCA representative met our client at MLGW and spoke with the agents supervisor explaining to her exactly what her order of protection meant. The client's utilities were soon restored.

Community Education

An excellent training workshop was presented at Frayser High School for 38 teenage girls.  The teachers commented that the presentation was "wonderful." The workshop was effective for helping the girls think about their own relationships.  A second workshop has been scheduled.

Topics addressed at the workshop:

  1. What is a healthy relationship?
  2. What is an unhealthy relationship?
  3. Dynamics of teen violence
  4. Effects of abuse on self-esteem
  5. Building Self-esteem
  6. Dating rights
  7. Red flags of abusers
  8. Who to go to for help
  9. Our criminal justice system

Immigrant Women’s Service

Governmental and agency processes for immigrant women victims of domestic violence and sexual abuse extend over long periods of time.  Immigrant Women’s Services reached a significant milestone last month in the immigration cases of two of its clients.  In most situations, a case requires numerous steps in order to reach a significant result. 

The first client submitted her documentation for a self-petition for permanent residency under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) over a year ago.  The severity of her situation forced her to remain hidden in a shelter for more than a year. IWS advocates worked with her to assemble all of the necessary documents and evidence to file for her petition, and we worked alongside the client’s pro bono attorney during the entire legal process. This client received her approval to apply for permanent residency in January. After a long period of separation, the client is able to visit her family in Brazil.

The second client is a human trafficking victim who was rescued by the FBI. IWS assisted the client  throughout her two year process to obtain her T-visa, which will give her a non-immigrant status for four years and eventually allow her to apply for permanent residency.

In the cases of both of these clients, IWS provided both legal and social advocacy and also provided emotional support and safety planning to help them through these long, grueling processes.

Before and After School Childcare Program

The Tennessee Child Care Assessment Unit went out to assess the Program at E.E. Jeter in Millington, and E.E. Jeter has been relicensed. And ... the results are in!  (Drum roll please!)  Dexter Elementary was rewarded with a Three Star Rating (the highest rating) by the Tennessee Department of Human Service Assessment Unit.  This proves that with hard work and a commitment to the parents and students we serve, that we indeed provide quality and affordable childcare for our community.    

 Training and Development 

The Training and Development Center conducted 11 computer literacy classes at 4 Memphis housing locations for 120 students. Many of these individuals had never used a computer or the Internet. Comments about the program included:

  • "I love this training. I can now understand what my grandchild is talking about.”
  • “I can look up job openings and not just limit my job search to looking at the newspaper.”
  • “I have learned so much.  Thanks to all the trainers.”