September 2020

September 2020


September is National Recovery Month and we are celebrating! Did you know YWCA Northeast Indiana has an addiction recovery program for women called Hope & Harriet? Our certified residential treatment program for women 18 years and older specializes in the pursuit of recovery from chemical dependency. Pathways for individual women, and women with children, are available in this program.

Help us raise awareness and show support for all of the individuals who are impacted by addiction. Visit our website for ways you can get involved and to learn about the alarming statistics regarding substance abuse. Scroll down to read about Valerie Panning, our Director of Addiction Services. You will quickly realize why she is a rock star!

One of the ways you can get involved is to wear turquoise on September 17 to serve as a conversation starter about topics regarding addiction, substance abuse, and recovery. Also, keep an eye out for the MLK Bridge and Ash Brokerage Building to be lit with turquoise from 9/16-9/19 in recognition of Recovery Month.

At YWCA Northeast Indiana, we believe that treatment is effective, and recovery is worth celebrating! On September 21, fifteen of our clients will be recognized for their successful completion of our Addictions Recovery Program. These amazing women have worked hard on their recovery, and YWCA is excited to honor their hard work and celebrate with them.

We also want to celebrate partnerships in this edition. In this edition, meet our Chief Financial Officer, Michelle Banks, while learning about our partnership with Blue Jacket, who shares our vision for empowering others. Also, we celebrate our featured empowering leader in our Empowering Leader Video Series. If you haven’t yet had the opportunity to meet Palermo Galindo, Community Liaison-Manager of Community Relations for the City of Fort Wayne, please take a moment to listen to his story in the video below.

Additionally, as we prepare for domestic violence awareness month in October, we have developed a toolkit to help you get involved! The CDC estimates that 1 in 4 women will experience domestic violence, and 1 in 7 men. Please take some time to review the toolkit and consider how you can spread awareness and increase your own awareness of domestic violence next month.

Lastly, our signature fundraising event is almost here! We are beyond excited about this online spectacular. At the bottom of this newsletter, there is a link to register. 100% of your registration fee is a donation to our domestic violence services.  Can you guess who is featured in the picture?  Connect with our social media for forthcoming behind-the-scenes photos, and watch for us on Positively Fort Wayne and INsight.

Thank you for your ongoing support of YWCA Northeast Indiana!

Addictions Recovery Program: Hope & Harriet

“Not to sound cliché’ but this truly is my dream job. As a social worker, there is no better place to be than at the YWCA. The mission and the vision of the YWCA is embedded in my heart and is what guides my practice.”
-Valerie Panning, Director of Addiction Services, YWCA Northeast Indiana


Our Addictions Recovery Program has recently undergone restructuring, which entailed having all treatment team members engage in a four day training that focused on tailoring treatment to be individualized, comprehensive, and based the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) treatment guidelines. The program is now offering a four phase treatment modality that encapsulates a comprehensive approach tailored specifically to each individual client. Our intensive program combines the most effective evidence-based therapies available, including dialectical behavior therapy, mindfulness, cognitive behavioral therapy, 12 step techniques, relapse prevention, and individual, group, and family counseling. Our program teaches about the eight dimensions of wellness and engages clients within each domain to ensure they are both educated and skilled in how to live their lives in balance. We serve alongside other interdisciplinary team members to ensure clients have all the supports needed to be successful long term. Our program does not just address substance abuse; it involves treating the whole person and their support system to promote optimal outcomes.

In reflecting on her first meeting with Paula, our Chief Executive Officer, Valerie said, “It became evident that our hearts were strongly aligned. It also helped that we shared a vision of creating a comprehensive treatment program that would wrap women and their families with the best treatment and care.”

Our addictions recovery program is both specialized and unique. So unique, in fact, we operate two out of only seven family treatment centers in the state. Our program addresses one of the biggest barriers to women seeking treatment because we allow a client’s children to reside with her while she is in the program.

“I serve alongside immensely talented, passionate, and creative professionals who are always willing to lend an ear or a hand and are always seeking ways in which to meet the needs of our community,” Valerie said. “I have the most amazing job in which I get to watch lives be rebuilt and transformed into something beautiful and complete. It simply does not get any better than that!”

YWCA Northeast Indiana is extremely blessed to have someone as passionate as Valerie on our team!


Blue Jacket

Pivoting Through COVID: Nonprofits Working Together


Blue Jacket is a Fort Wayne nonprofit with an emphasis on career development for under-served members of the local community, including those with barriers to employment. When COVID struck, Blue Jacket shifted their focus to job security and has been placing their members in custodial positions to aid other area nonprofits.

The enhanced cleaning provided by Blue Jacket has been vital in allowing us to continue operating our 24 hour services to the Northeast Indiana community. We are ecstatic to partner with Blue Jacket because they share our vision to empower individuals. “The quality of Blue Jacket’s service has been outstanding, and we have been so excited to see what they have done,” commented Michelle Banks, CFO at YWCA Northeast Indiana.

Domestic Violence Awareness Month


View our toolkit to see how you can participate this month. From activities in your home, to attending events, to posting on social media, there are many ways you can be a part of ending this serious problem. Take a stand and get involved this October! View our website to learn more.

Palermo Galindo

Featured in this month’s Empowering Leaders Video Series is Palermo Galindo, Community Liaison-Manager of Community Relations for the City of Fort Wayne.

Learn more about Palermo here.

Thank you to Palermo Galindo for being our featured empowering leader!
We are also thankful to our corporate partner, Fort Wayne Metals, for sponsoring this initiative.


Join us in the most Powerful of Circles

Please join us for our 24th annual Circle event on October 22. You won’t want to miss this online spectacular!

Circle is a fundraising event for YWCA’s growing domestic violence services. Many victims of domestic violence arrive at the YWCA crisis shelter with their children in hand and nothing but the clothes on their backs. The YWCA  honors their courage by providing safety and space to breathe as they begin transitioning from crisis to self-sufficiency.


It’s never too late to become part of the Circle of support for our domestic violence clients by registering for Circle.

Learn more and register here.


Can you guess who our actors are playing these roles? Be the FIRST to guess all correctly and we will register you for this virtual event at no cost! Send your guess to

Look for our Circle event to be featured on Positively Fort Wayne on WANE-TV, and INsight on WPTA-21. We are grateful for Terra Brantley and Charity Freeman.