Local non-profit YWCA of McLean County is one of 10 winners of the ‘Google Impact Challenge.’ Google chose these ten organizations from all over the state of Illinois. $1 million in total are being granted to spark economic growth. 167 organizations applied for the grants. The 10 chosen organizations are now competing for another $250,000. The winner is chosen by the people. Voting will take place until Valentine’s Day.
The McLean County YWCA is using the grant for it’s Labyrinth Program. The program helps women find their feet after being incarcerated. The $75,000 will be used to start a small start up used to train the women in the program with job and communication skills. Program Director Kara Alt says the grant is huge for the program. “We have a very small budget we’re working with now and it would be great just to be able to expand,” she explained. Alt also says the extra $250,000 at stake would be huge for more people than just the women in the program. “It’s really such a ripple effect. If we can employ women with gainful employment then they are able to help support their families and their children,” she explained.
Janie Moses has been involved in the Labyrinth Program since November 2018. As a domestic abuse survivor with children she finds the opportunity to get a new life in the Labyrinth. “It’s amazing. We’re starting a small business. Getting out there and renewing your life and having a great path for you and your children,” she said.