YWCA Kalamazoo

YWCA Kalamazoo’s mission is to eliminate racism, empower women, stand up for social justice, help families, and strengthen communities. The longest-serving YWCA association in Michigan, YWCA Kalamazoo provides individuals and families with victim-focused counseling and advocacy services as well as shelter for survivors of violence, transitional housing, and legal services.

In 2021, NIRH worked with the YWCA Kalamazoo and All* Above All to establish a reproductive heath fund in Kalamazoo, which would be funded through a public-private partnership and fund gender affirming care, doula care, and abortion care.

In 2022, the YWCA Kalamazoo amplified the impact of its Reproductive Health Fund, increasing awareness of the services it covers (doula care, gender-affirming care, and abortion care) and seeing a significant uptick in usage by the community. They also built out a coalition of community partners, advocacy groups, grassroots organizations, and clinicians to support the Reproductive Health Fund and to advise on the creation and implementation of a long-term strategy for achieving reproductive justice in Kalamazoo. 2022 was a significant year for abortion access in Michigan, and the YWCA Kalamazoo played a pivotal role in protecting abortion access at the ballot box by launching a successful GOTV campaign that targeted over 30,000 voters via mailers, and over 20,000 doors via canvassers. These efforts educated voters – especially BIPOC voters – around the impact redistricting may have had on protecting reproductive justice in their communities.  

YWCA Kalamazoo is launching a Gender-Based Violence Initiative to provide financial resources for reproductive health needs, gender-affirming doula care, and education to survivors of gender-based violence. NIRH will work with YWCA Kalamazoo to research, develop, and implement a sustainable city-wide program that connects survivors to essential care. The initiative will emphasize local get out to vote (GOTV) efforts that educate community members about social determinants of health and access to comprehensive reproductive healthcare.