Letter from Christy Respess, CEO
We have had an eventful year! As members, you may have questions or concerns regarding the recent business decision to sell the building. Below we’ve shared a few facts about the transaction, but more importantly, we are looking forward to upgrading our facility to serve our members, our mission, and our community better. Come to the Annual Meeting to hear more!
YWCA Member Fact Sheet – Gateway Building Transaction
- The YWCA sold the building, but the YWCA will remain at the Gateway facility!
- The YWCA is not relocating, closing, or reducing the size of our fitness operation.
- The YWCA has a lifetime lease (25 years) with dedicated secure space outlined for the length of the agreement:
- The YWCA will retain all current dedicated space (upstairs, fitness center, all studios, collaborative space, instructional kitchen, & youth wellness center
- The YWCA will also have incremental dedicated space of 17,000 square feet downstairs for fitness. These plans include a new floor level track, space for expanded fitness programs, classes, and possible medical partnerships
- Elevation Church will convert the three basketball courts into dedicated needs for youth ministry and church service starting in January.
- The church space and the YWCA space are largely in separate parts of the building. We will share the lobby and downstairs hallways. We do not anticipate any disruption in service or hours of operation during construction.
- This is a business transaction and not a merger; the YWCA remains a separate organization. This transaction allows the YWCA revenue to invest and grow our mission versus covering debt service and building overhead.
We are excited about the upcoming plans to improve our fitness facilities and make your Gateway experience empowering and meaningful. We are more than a building, but thankfully, we found a solution that allows us to stay right here and give the Gateway the attention it deserves!
P.S. …And we’ve been in the news! Click here to see our former Board chair, Sandra Boyette’s letter to the editor at the Winston-Salem Journal from Saturday, August 3rd, 2019.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: YWCA of Winston-Salem & Forsyth County
Christy Respess, President and CEO
firstname.lastname@example.org; (336) 721-5138, ext. 239
Contact: Elevation Church
Greg Basch, Winston-Salem Campus Pastor
YWCA Announces Partnership with Elevation Church
Elevation Church purchases Gateway building; YWCA to expand fitness programs as long-term tenant.
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C., July 15, 2019 — The YWCA of Winston-Salem & Forsyth County and Elevation Church announced today that the Church has purchased the Gateway building located at 1300 S. Main St. The purchase will allow the YWCA to expand its membership program and medical partnerships as a long-term tenant in the building, and Elevation Church will secure a permanent home for its Winston-Salem location.
“We have enjoyed an incredible relationship with the YWCA since we launched our Winston-Salem church here in 2017,” said Greg Basch, the Campus Pastor of Elevation Winston-Salem. “We’re looking forward to establishing a permanent presence from which we can continue to reach and serve more people in Winston.”
“The YWCA Board’s decision to sell the building enables the organization to focus strategically on its mission programs and services rather than operating a building that is larger than it needs and a major drain on its resources,” said Michelle Cook, president of the YWCA Board of Directors.
“In the space we rent from Elevation Church, we will offer a more robust fitness program for our members and continue the Gateway to Success Program, a highly successful collaboration with Novant Health and Wake Forest Baptist Health,” said Christy Respess, president and CEO of the YWCA. “The program provides low-resourced participants with diabetes with access to a fitness program, dietitian, behavioral health specialist, wellness coach and nutritional education – all in one location.”
The YWCA will continue to operate its other facilities. The Best Choice Center, on Highland Avenue, provides academic afterschool and summer camp programs for kindergarten through eighth grade students from low-moderate resourced families. Two programs offered in collaboration with the N.C. Juvenile Crime Prevention Council, Teen Court and Work & Earn It, also have offices at the Best Choice Center.
The YWCA’s Hawley House, on West Street, is the only state licensed residential recovery facility in Forsyth County for women diagnosed with Substance Use Disorder.
“The mission of the YWCA is an important one for this community, and we’re excited that this new arrangement will enable them to continue and grow the work they’ve done since 1908,” says Basch.
Elevation Church, which has staged the Gateway building each week for services, will renovate the building to provide permanent spaces for worship and childrens’ ministries and an expanded fitness area for the YWCA.
As renovations begin this summer, the Gateway Center will remain open with its regular hours, and Elevation Church will continue to host services on Sundays. Renovations are expected to be completed by summer 2020.
“We are grateful to Elevation Church for its continuing partnership and delighted that our diverse membership will benefit from the changes,” Ms. Respess said.
About Elevation Church -Elevation Church Winston-Salem is a part of Elevation Church, a global multi-site ministry based in Charlotte, NC, led by Pastor Steven Furtick. The Winston-Salem location was launched in April 2017 and has experienced continuous growth since then. The mission of Elevation Church is “So that people far from God will be raised to life in Christ.” Elevation Winston-Salem gathers for worship at 9AM and 11AM every Sunday morning at the YWCA Sports and Wellness Center (1300 S Main Street). For more information, visit www.elevationchurch.org
About the YWCA -Serving the Winston-Salem community since 1908, the YWCA of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County is affiliated with the national YWCA whose mission is “eliminating racism, empowering women and promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all.”
Locally, the YWCA supports this mission through “Change for Life”programs that:
- Empower low income and at-risk children through academic success
- Empower women diagnosed with Substance Use Disorder to recover
- Empower YWCA members to live healthy lives, with special emphasis on chronic disease prevention and management.
For more information, visit www.ywcaws.org.