Image for YWCA Clark County Snags Three Grants
YWCA Clark County and CFM Advocates teamed up to compete successfully for two federal grants and a federal earmark that will expand the nonprofit's sexual assault services, add transitional housing and evolve to a therapeutic preschool for children who have experienced trauma.

Nonprofit Lands Funding for Sexual Assault Services, Housing and Preschool

YWCA Clark County received $1.25 million in federal grants to expand its sexual assault services and transitional housing for victims of domestic violence. The agency also has a pending congressional directed spending project by Washington Senator Patty Murray to convert its preschool into a therapeutic preschool for children who have experienced trauma.

“We engaged CFM Advocates in September 2022 due to their outstanding track record,” YWCA Clark County CEO Brittini Lasseigne said. “As a nonprofit organization, prudent resource management is paramount, and the decision to hire lobbyists is a strategic one that involves careful consideration of potential risks. In the case of CFM Advocates, the investment proved to be not only justified but also highly beneficial.”

“Their effective representation in Washington, DC, played a key role in our noteworthy achievements, including securing $1.25M in federal awards in the first year, successfully navigating a Congressional Directed Spending request, and fostering invaluable relationships with our congressional representatives,” Lasseigne added. “We recognize the importance of safeguarding our community’s investment in our organization, and our experience with CFM has solidified our confidence in a continued and fruitful partnership for years to come.”

“YWCA Clark County does such important and vital work, and it was an honor to work side-by-side with its team,” said Page Strickler, CFM Advocates Senior Vice President of Government Affairs. “Being awarded two of its three grant requests and a Community Directed Spending request submitted by Senator Murray feels like a home run.”

“YWCA Clark County does such important and vital work. It was an honor to work side-by-side with its team.” –Page Strickler

Sexual Assault Program
YWCA Clark County will receive a $750,000 grant from the Office on Violence Against Women in the Department of Justice to expand its sexual assault program, which offers 24-hour legal, medical and emotional support to victims of sexual assault and their families. It also offers advocacy, support groups, counseling, community outreach and education opportunities.

Specific services include non-judgmental support, information and referrals for victims who have experienced sexual assault at any time in their life; advocacy during forensic medical exams, law enforcement interviews or the criminal justice process; individual therapy for people 13 and older; and sexual assault support groups for adult women, teenage girls, non-offending parents of victims/survivors and women with Spanish as a first language.

Transitional Housing
In partnership with Second Step Housing, YWCA Clark County was approved for a $500,000 grant from the Office on Violence Against Women to expand the SafeChoice Transitional Housing Program for domestic violence survivors, who along with their families can stay for up to two years, at no cost to them, in a safe, shared living environment.

Therapeutic Preschool
A pending $475,000 congressional directed spending request would enable YWCA Clark County to transition its preschool to serve children  from two to five years old who have experienced trauma, child abuse or neglect. With a 5:1 child to staff ratio, the preschool will use the Seeds of Empathy curriculum to foster social and emotional competence, early literacy skills and positive attitudes.

Caregiver engagement is another important element of the program. There will be regular group meetings to discuss parenting challenges by looking at how trauma impacts parenting and relationships.

Start-up costs for the preschool include supplies, staff training and a van. Once the program is up and running, YWCA anticipates a partnership with the Washington State Department of Children, Youth and Families will cover tuition for enrolled families.

YWCA Clark County History
What is now YWCA Clark County started in 1916 as a lunch counter for working women. The nonprofit has evolved into a force for empowerment and safety for women, children and families in the community. It serves more than 12,000 people each year who are escaping domestic violence, sexual assault, child abuse and neglect, as well as youth in foster care.

The organization’s mission is to eliminate racism, empower women, and promote peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all through direct service, support groups, community outreach and public policy centered on SafeChoice Domestic Violence Program, Sexual Assault Program, Y’s Care Children’s Program, Independent Living Skills Program, Prevention Program and Care Coordination Services Program.