Weekly update for our YWCA Evanston/North Shore community
Last Monday was Equal Pay Day, a day it was admittedly hard to focus on this year amidst the upheaval of COVID-19. It's hard for us to focus on anything other than getting the help and services needed to the most economically vulnerable among us. And that population is disproportionately women, and especially women of color.

Equal Pay Day was March 31 this year because that's how many days into 2020 the average woman would have to work to earn what the average man did in 2019. For Black Women, the date is actually August 13. For Latina Women, it's October 1.

COVID-19 heightens these systemic inequalities. According to Shelley Zallis in Equal Pay Day in Our New Normal:

  • Women hold the majority of jobs that are jeopardized by widespread shutdowns. Of the 4.4 million workers who rely on tips to earn a living in the United States, two-thirds are women.
  • Women also hold the majority of jobs that put them on the frontlines of the COVID-19 fight. Globally, women make up 70% of workers in the health and social care sector.

As Lilly Ledbetter writes in Everything Feels Different this Equal Pay Day, "the COVID-19 pandemic has suddenly exposed the brutal economic reality of low-paid women workers who are on the frontlines of this crisis...As millions of us shelter in place and telework, home health aides are out caring for our sick family members, grocery store cashiers and clerks are giving us access to the food and supplies we need to stay healthy, and childcare workers are keeping our children safe. These workers are predominately women. And they are at high risk of viral exposure in each of these essential jobs. But so many lack the basic protections of a decent wage, paid sick and family leave, and employer-sponsored health care."

The COVID-19 crisis makes us all feel vulnerable -- and maybe also helps us all recognize that we all need one another. Without the grocery store clerk who stocks the shelves with items we need, and dreams of a better paying job, where would we be? Without the home health care aide who continues to visit our elderly family members when we can't, where would we be? Without the healthcare worker who helps care for patients during the day and stays in our YWCA emergency shelter at night, where would we be?

In our 89 years of existence, YWCA Evanston/North Shore has helped lift up and empower thousands of women in our communities by providing safe housing, emergency shelter, legal advocacy, childcare, financial education, job skills, and housing assistance. Today, that need is greater than ever, and it's abundantly clear how much we all need one another.

Let's learn from this crisis, and commit to valuing equally the work of women. The health of our communities ALWAYS depends on it.
Half of the women currently in our domestic violence shelter are still going to work every day because they are in essential services. Here's what they do:
Survivors in YWCA's domestic violence shelter are safe from their abusers and are receiving counseling and support. But survivors living with their abusers are especially at risk during the Shelter in Place order because they are isolated at home.

If you or someone you know needs help, call the 24-hour domestic violence crisis line to access assistance:
IIllinois Dept. of Human Services:
1-877-863-6338 (Voice)
1-877-863-6339 (TTY)
The hotline is toll free, confidential, multilingual, and open 24-hour.
National Domestic Violence hotline:
1-800-799-SAFE (7233)
Advocates are available 24/7 in more than 200 languages. All calls are free and confidential.
This week's heroes - YOU
Whenever we ask for help, our community steps up!

This week, we extend huge thanks to our friends at both Connections for the Homeless and Dynamic Colors Painting and Restoration for pitching in to provide thermometers for our shelter! Because of you we're able to take vital preventive measures to help keep our residents safe.

Thanks also to the kind-hearted souls who are running Facebook birthday campaigns to benefit YWCA because they believe in and support our mission. We really appreciate it, Ann and Melissa!!! You can link to our Facebook page here.
About your Economic Impact Payment
This week, our Women's Economic Advancement team offers a suggested action plan for those who expect to receive an Economic Impact Payment from the IRS within the next 3-4 weeks.

Click here for " A suggested action plan for your Economic Impact Payment," a resource developed by YWCA Financial Education Specialist Fabiola Alfonso for anyone who is of low-to-moderate income.
YWCA Shop for Good volunteers find ways to continue giving
YWCA Shop for Good, our women's resale boutique in Wilmette, is closed for the time being, but shop volunteers are still giving of themselves. Susan (left) and Margaret (right) have been hard at work making face masks for those that need them.
You can make a difference!
Our hearts are with all of you as our country battles the COVID-19 pandemic. We hope you and your loved ones are safe and healthy. 

At YWCA, we are doing our part to keep our staff, residents, and community safe and healthy as well. We have closed our building and our public programs and fundraising events have been cancelled or postponed. This greatly impacts our revenue and our ability to meet the needs of the women and families we are continuing to serve. 

Your support today will make a difference. Please donate if you are able.
Your gift, in any amount, will help us help others.
Thank you!
We love our Corporate Partners!
YWCA Evanston/North Shore | Phone 847-864-8445 | ywca@ywca-ens.org | www.ywca-ens.org