YWCA in FD celebrates 100 years

The YWCA celebrated its building’s 100-year anniversary Friday.

Nearly 50 community members, including YWCA staff and Greater Fort Dodge Growth Alliance members, attended the gathering and special ribbon cutting event.

While the building is 100 years old, the YWCA has been a part of Fort Dodge for more than 109 years.

“We’re sort of an institution,” David Chapin, YWCA executive director, said. “Everybody has some sort of remembrance of the Y. That’s nice to build on, as far as an organization.”

The YWCA provides residential substance abuse treatment for women and women with children.

“We do all levels of care for those ladies, and we have some spots for homeless women with children,” Chapin said. “Our treatment philosophy is geared more toward long term, so we do a holistic approach toward treatment and look at all avenues of their lives and make positive changes.”

The need for this service in Fort Dodge is great.

“We are at capacity all the time, with a wait list,” Chapin said. “We go more on timeframe, but because typically there’s such a great need for anybody on a wait list we try to refer out to someplace to get them into services as soon as possible.”

The YWCA has a “tremendous success rate,” Chapin said.

“About 80 to 85 percent of our ladies succeed,” he said. “That’s phenomenal. It’s wonderful to see.”

Clarice Thompson, YWCA marketing director, said the nonprofit plays a major part in the Fort Dodge community.

“Without the Y, there would be a lot of women and their children homeless, and so they are here for them,” she said. “Even though we don’t have a facility as large as we would like, as far as the demand is concerned, it’s a sad demand, but it’s there. But … the success rate is astronomical. We’re pleased with that, very much.”

Thompson said she was honored being a part of the organization and its legacy.

“The Y has been here for quite a while, 109 years,” she said. “So to be a part of that change in lives is very important to me.”

Susie Drew, YWCA clinical director, was one of the staff members greeting the community at the door for the event.

“We’re excited to know where we have been and where we are going to,” Drew said. “The Y has served a great purpose in the community.”

The YWCA, Drew said, continues to provide quality services for the community.

“We provide services to women and women with children and now we’re expanding to men, for outpatient,” she said. “We’re just looking at the needs and trying to come up with programming for all of it.”