June 1: This week, we are reopening the YWCA offices to the public. We closed our main office doors back in March in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, and since that time only our essential services for domestic and sexual violence survivors and homeless families have been available. Our goal is to reduce barriers to our services while protecting the safety of our staff, participants and community. Reopening will allow us to resume in-person programs and support services that our community depends on.
We are now open to the public Monday- Friday 10am- 4pm. Appointments are encouraged whenever possible. However, walk-in services will also be available without appointment. This includes families and individuals experiencing domestic violence or homelessness.
We have implemented the following protocols at the YWCA main office:
- In order to encourage physical distancing and limit crowding in our main lobby, all guests will be screened in the front foyer before entering the lobby. If you wish to enter the lobby, please use the intercom and someone will provide assistance. If the lobby is occupied, you may be asked to wait outside or in your car. If there are safety concerns for survivors, accommodations will be made to find an alternate waiting area inside the building.
- With a few exceptions, everyone will be required to use hand sanitizer and wear a face mask when they enter the building. Masks will be provided to those who don’t have one
- Staff will wear face masks, wash hands frequently, and practice physical distancing. All staff will be monitored for temperature and COVID-19 symptoms upon entering the building for work each day.
- Clients will be screened and their temperature taken upon entry into the building. If they are symptomatic, they will be asked to come back when they are no longer exhibiting symptoms.
- Common office areas will be cleaned and disinfected at least twice daily.
May 1: Our Secret Seconds Thrift Stores are re-opening under the country’s guidelines for Phase 1. We have some new protocols in place to protect everyone’s health and safety:
-Please wear a face mask/ covering when entering the stores
-Maximum store capacity is 20 people
-Please keep a physical distance of 6 feet from others in the store
-Bathrooms and dressing rooms are closed to the public
-Please do not come in if you are feeling sick or exhibiting symptoms of illness
Our store hours are now 10am- 4pm, every day. We will also be accepting donations during these hours.
YWCA Weekly Watch, April 25, 2020: A video update from Planet Kids manager, Trish Christensen, about how COVID-19 has impacted our supervised visitation programs, and why these services are so critical during this time.
YWCA Weekly Watch, April 20, 2020: A video update from Pathways shelter coordinator, Chris Young-Greer, about how to help a friend or neighbor who is being abused in quarantine.
YWCA Weekly Watch, April 13, 2020: Video update from GUTS! manager, Roe Erin, about how COVD-19 is affecting GUTS! programming and funding.
YWCA Weekly Watch, April 6, 2020: Video update from emergency housing coordinator, Stephanie Wright, about the impact that shelter-in-place policies have on homeless families.
YWCA Weekly Watch, March 30, 2020: Here is a short video update from executive director, Cindy Weese, about what we’re doing right now to help victims of domestic violence during the COVID-19 crisis.
March 27, 2020 update: Secret Seconds will not be accepting donations during the shelter in place time period, March 27th- April 10th.
March 24, 2020 update: The YWCA office remains closed to the public. However, you can reach the office via phone, Monday- Friday, 10am- 4 pm at 543-6691.
Call the 24/7 crisis line with any questions or concerns about domestic or sexual violence: 542-1944 or 800-483-7858.
March 19, 2020 update: Secret Seconds Thrift Stores temporarily closed for business. Read more here.
March 16, 2020 update
Like you, we are closely following the evolving news about COVID-19 and working quickly to address the impact of this situation on the people we serve, our employees, and our community partners.
While the safety of staff, clients, volunteers, and supporters is our primary concern, we are also developing plans to minimize interruptions to our many direct services, upon which so many individuals and families rely, especially during this difficult time.
- In order to support community efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19 and minimize its threat, the YWCA main office will be closed to the public. During business hours, questions about YWCA services can be directed to our office phone: 406-543-6691.
- We will continue to provide essential services, including operation of our crisis line, domestic violence shelter, and emergency housing program, to the greatest extent possible.
- Anyone who has concerns relating to domestic violence or sexual assault can call the 24-hour YWCA Missoula crisis line at 406-542-1944 or 1-800-483-7858.
- Cleaning sprays, wipes, and alcohol-based hand sanitizers have been distributed throughout YWCA sites and are being used to disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces in the offices and common areas. Facilities staff are taking extra precautions cleaning and sanitizing YWCA sites for participants and staff.
- YWCA staff who are able to telecommute have been encouraged to do so, with non-essential meetings and events conducted virtually or postponed.
- Volunteer Advocate Training, which was scheduled to begin March 23rd, will be postponed.
- Weekly Tuesday night support groups have been suspended. If you need therapeutic support while our groups are suspended, please contact our Clinical Manager, Carol, to discuss options.
- In response to CDC recommendations on large gatherings, LUNAFEST on April 14th has been postponed at this time. More information to come.
- YWCA Secret Seconds Thrift Stores will remain open at this time with modified store hours and CDC-recommended cleaning protocols in place. The funds generated from the stores provide critical funding that allow us to operate our domestic violence and housing programs. Without these programs, some of Missoula’s most vulnerable residents would be in dire straits.
This is a time filled with a great deal of challenge and uncertainty. Fortunately, our community is resourceful, resilient, and ready to work together to address the impact of this public health threat. Find the latest updates from Missoula County at: missoula.co/cvirus. You can also call the health department 406-258-INFO with questions or concerns.
YWCA’s work to create equity and justice for all people matters now more than ever before. As the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve, we too may adjust our approach and response. Until then, we will continue to follow the current guidelines, closely monitor the situation, and update you with any changes to our operations.