YWCA Hamilton: Voices

Just another WordPress.com weblog

Leave a comment

YWCA is catering to a good cause – from The Hamilton Spectator

By Dan Kislenko – The Hamilton Spectator

The sandwich of marinated and grilled eggplant with crumbled goat cheese was delicious. And the burnt orange marmalade on the dark chocolate brownie was to die for.

Those are just a couple of the gourmet creations parading out of the kitchen of the downtown YWCA.

And anyone can enjoy them.

The Y recently and quietly started a new catering company called At The Table: Recipe For Change.

Its main purpose is to help fund the Y’s transitional living program, which provides shelter and support for women who are homeless, have suffered abuse or addictions or have mental health issues, with an eye to achieving independent living.

There are currently 65 women in the program, ranging in age from 16 to 75.

“We had to close our cafeteria a couple of years ago because of cost,” says Denise Doyle, chief executive officer of YWCA Hamilton.

“The kitchen was still there … we saw another group in Toronto get into catering to help fund their programs, and saw the opportunity.”

Doyle says the Hamilton Community Foundation paid for a feasibility study, and the Trillium Foundation provided funding — $150,000 over two years — to help cover start-up costs and to hire a chef, an assistant cook and a marketing/sales person for the full-service catering business.

Enter Dmitry Perov.

He was born in Russia and came to Hamilton as a young boy. He graduated from the George Brown College culinary program in Toronto in 2010, then apprenticed at the Bread Bar on Locke and worked as a grill cook at the Ancaster Mill and later as junior sous chef at Quatrefoil in Dundas.

When he was hired as head chef for At The Table, one of the first things he did was work with women in the program to make jams — including that marmalade — to use in the business.

“They had a real sense of pride,” Perov says. “Some of them already had the skills in the kitchen.

“I’ve worked at the high end of the restaurant business. As a young chef you want that,” he says. “Here I gain experience supervising the kitchen.”

Right now, At The Table is strictly catering — business functions, private parties and things like the Y’s child care program — but Doyle has bigger plans:

“The dream over the next couple of years is to pay off bills and make some profit, then expand into a café.

“The plan in the next year is that the women in the program will do hands-on catering work to acquire skills and experience. We want to make it an accredited training program, so the women can get jobs after they leave here.”

She says local community support for At The Table has been tremendous. “We can’t thank everyone enough,” she adds. “Every chef we’ve dealt with talks about the need for well-trained kitchen staff and say they would be interested in hiring women we train.

“And Jeff Crump and Julie Johnson, the owners of the Bread Bar, came on board as mentors for the business. They’ve been with us every step of the way.”

As for the food he cooks up, Perov says he likes a rustic touch. “I want food to look like the food it is,” he says.

He says his work has already opened his eyes. “In preparing the day-care food, I realized that a third of the children are Muslim, so I had to make sure things were halal. They loved the curry,” he says. “And as for nutrition, when I make something like macaroni and cheese I will add some puréed cauliflower to the sauce.”

At The Table has an extensive set catering menu — breakfast, lunch, dinner, hot or cold, simple or fancy — but Perov says he intends to quickly introduce custom orders offering just about any cuisine in the world.

The company will cater to groups as small as 10 people or as big as 200 and downtown business events are the initial focus, but they will go anywhere in the city.

“We’ve already had a few orders and things went very well,” Doyle says. “People can also rent facilities for functions at the MacNab and Ottawa street YWCAs. It’s important to know that every dollar invested goes back into the community.”

To read this article in online in the original format click here: http://www.thespec.com/living-story/4084852-ywca-is-catering-to-a-good-cause/



Leave a comment

ywcaencore instructor Annemarie with Millionaires Daughter store owner Maureen

ywcaencore instructor Annemarie with Millionaires Daughter store owner Maureen

red table set complete with 6 chairs and two leaves

Red table set complete with 6 chairs and two leaves








Paint the town red… or just your table in support of ywcaencore! Until March 31, 2013, the Millionaires Daughter is auctioning a gorgeous reupholster & refurbished red table set on-line.

All proceeds are very generously being given to support the ywcaencore program, a free 8-week after breast cancer exercise program offered at both branches of the YWCA Hamilton.

To view and/or bid on the table visit: http://www.themillionairesdaughter.com/

Leave a comment

2013 Homelessness Marathon – Live segment on health and precarious housing in Hamilton


Recent cuts to the Community Start Up and Maintenance Benefit, “put men and women at risk of homelessness.” photo: Danielle Major

On February 20th, HJRC in collaboration with Health Providers Against Poverty, YWCA and CFMU 93.3 FM brought the 2013 Homelessness Marathon to Hamilton. The marathon is a live national 14 hour radio broadcast about Homelessness and Housing
Issues, heard across the country by over 40 campus community radio
stations with a focus on the voices of those directly impacted.

According to a 2011 report prepared by the Social Planning and Research Council, in Hamilton, shelter usage by women is increasing, while shelter use by men is decreasing. There are 195 men only beds, 127 for women, 90% of which are specifically designated for women fleeing violence . Women’s shelters routinely turn away clients owing to lack of capacity.

On today’s episode of HJRC, we speak with six courageous women who tell us how precarious housing in Hamilton has impacted their health.

(Copied from Healthjusticeradio blog: click here)

Leave a comment

Project Aimed to Prevent Violence against Women Launched at McMaster University


Project Aimed to Prevent Violence against Women Launched at McMaster University

For Immediate Release

Hamilton, ON – February 25, 2013 – SACHA , the Sexual Assault Centre (Hamilton & Area) , in partnership with YWCA Hamilton, have begun a project at McMaster University to engage students in preventing violence against women on campus.  The project is funded by Status of Women Canada and McMaster University is one of the college and university campuses across Canada where this work will begin over the next two years.

The project launch is scheduled for Thursday March 7th at 2:30pm in the McMaster University Student Centre Atrium. The McMaster community will be welcoming keynote speaker Charlotte Yates, Dean of Social Sciences, as well as University President Patrick Deane and various student leaders to comment on the importance of such a project on campus.

“Through this important project, we hope to further the great work of the Anti-Violence Network and other groups on campus that have committed themselves to ending gender-based violence,” says Lenore Lukasik-Foss, Director of SACHA.

The project includes many facets, including but not limited to – a comprehensive student engagement strategy, a gender-based analysis of relevant university policies, and an education and awareness campaign. The goal of the launch is to publicize the work being done on campus to address the issue, and to generate conversations amongst students about the very complex issue of violence against women, specifically in a university setting.

More events will be scheduled throughout 2013 and 2014, with the project coming to completion in the summer of 2014.

What: Launch of project to prevent violence against women at McMaster University

Where: McMaster University Student Centre (MUSC) Atrium

When: Thursday March 7th, 2013 @ 2:30 p.m.


For more information please contact,

Lenore Lukasik-Foss

905 525-5276 ext 223