Not only am I on the advisory board, but I have also volunteered with the children who reside at the YWCA Sara McKnight Transitional Living Center (TLC). What I have noticed with these children is that they seem to act more grown up than they are. I believe the lack of stability having been homeless has robbed them of their childhood innocence and potentially predisposed them to unstable futures when they are adults. Having a home to call their own and a community where people accept them and make them feel welcomed and important seems to give them back some of their security and innocence. The support and services provided to the women of the TLC to help them find a stable future and to learn how to be self-sufficient go far beyond the goals of keeping them off the streets in the future. They are very likely impacting the children in such positive ways that may prevent future generations of homelessness. To see not only the mothers, but also the children developing self-esteem and confidence is amazing. Being able to be a part of the YWCA Sara McKnight Transitional Living Center is a blessing.
The YWCA's Transitional Living Center (TLC) served 226 participants the past fiscal year that just ended, and currently we are helping 141 homeless women and children regain their dignity and work toward a secure income and permanent housing. By setting personal goals regarding self-sufficiency, education, employment and housing, participants are escaping homelessness and building new lives. Children’s programs were given a tremendous boost this past year with literacy programming, health and wellness programs, tutoring, and more. The women at the TLC were able to “jump start” their earning potential by having ESL (English Second Language) and GED (high school equivalency) preparation on site. Some were able to attend/complete college. With homelessness reaching a critical point in our region for families, the YWCA TLC plays a major role in assuring solutions are in place for homeless women with or without children. The YWCA TLC is the largest regional transitional living situation for homeless women and children.