from CEO Adrian E. Bracy
Dear YWCA Friends —
I am pleased to provide this update on the status of the Phyllis Wheatley Heritage Center. As you recall, YWCA Metro St. Louis faced the difficult decision a few years back of temporarily closing the center. Like all nonprofit organizations, we were faced with the reality of an economic downturn while working hard to fulfill a critical mission. At that time, although the Center was being widely used by some community groups, it was largely subsidized by YWCA Metro St. Louis. The Facilities and Finance Committees of the YWCA Board of Directors and I had to look at all the options. Ultimately, continuing to provide services to the women, girls and families who depend on us took precedence over committing the resources necessary to keep the Center open.
To our relief, the economy recovered sufficiently for us to explore the option of re-opening the Center. We had hoped to take this step in 2014, but it was not possible until recently. Nonetheless, I am happy to announce that the Phyllis Wheatley Heritage Center has been refurbished and reopened.
At this time, the Center will be used exclusively for YWCA Metro St. Louis activities and will not be available for rental or use by the public. This, too, is a decision based on resources and the best stewardship of our funding. The Phyllis Wheatley Heritage Center is highly valued for its historical significance as the home of the Phyllis Wheatley Branch of the YWCA, which served African-American women and girls during the time of segregation prior to the merger with the St. Louis branch, and as such, is an important piece of our history. While it is no longer available to the community at large, please know that its conservation is intact.
Adrian E. Bracy
CEO, YWCA Metro St. Louis