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Merele K.

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YWCA of Canton, Ohio, Inc.
April 29, 2011

I managed a community assessment process, COMPASS, for the United Way of Greater Stark County. Margaret Egbert, YWCA CEO, served on the Community Development Committee from the beginning of the process. Community Development was one of eight COMPASS committees. The committees provided a direct link between the data COMPASS gathered and what was actually happening in the community. As a result of her involvement on the committee I developed a close working relationship with her and the Canton YWCA.

The Canton YWCA and Margaret have provided innovative leadership particularly in the areas of child care and the homeless. For years the Canton YWCA managed the Stark County Homeless HMIS system. The methodology and the data collecting process developed there is still being used by the HMIS system now coordinated by the Stark County Recovery Services and Mental Health Board. No one was more influential in the development and implementation of that system than Margaret Egbert.are a leader among to A major part of the process

The Canton YWCA developed an innovative high quality child care program. When Ohio instituted an all-day child care program, the Canton YWCA led indeveloping the Stark County coalition of child care providers and was the central data collection center for reporting to the state.

The Canton YWCA created the Woman's Hall of Fame. The annual induction of new members into the Hall is a major event honoring Stark County women in six areas of service. The inductees of the Hall are a Who's Who of Stark County women leaders.

The Canton YWCA has been an innovator in utilizing green building technologies. The current YWCA building is heated and cooled by a geothermal system providing the Y with significant energy savings. The YWCA is currently building a 40 room homeless facility that incorporateds the latest in construction techniques assuring rooms are aesthetically pleaseing, private and sound proof and the building is enviornmentally efficient.

Prior to the construction of the new building, the YWCA constructed and helps manage Gateway, a permanent supportive housing facility for the homeless. Gateway was the first permanent support housing facility in the county. In colaboration with Stark County Community Services, Gateway provides permanent housing for long-term homeless with on site social services.

The Canton YWCA is a major factor in child care and serving the homeless in Canton and Stark County. It is always looked to for leadership, innovation and quality.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I worked with Margaret Egbert in developing and implementing the current homeless HMIS system. Margaret personally was a member of the COMPASS Community Development committee which considered the issue of the homeless in Stark County. A representative of the YWCA committee served on the Education committee because of the Y's leadership in early childhood learning. The Y was also represented on the Households and Families committee because of the Y's work with sheltering and assisting women.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

My contacts with the YWCA have been positive. The building is exceptionally well maintained. Under Margaret Egbert's leadership, the Y has gone from a struggling organization ready to close its doors to a vibrant financially sound organization providing quality services and leadership.

MY ROLE:
Professional with expertise in this field & I managed COMPASS, a community assessment process of the United Way of Greater Stark County. I worked with Margaret Egbert, Canton YWCA CEO, in the areas of child care and the homeless.