YWCA Princeton lays off more than 100 staff members

The YWCA of Princeton informed members on Monday evening that more than 100 full-time and part-time staff members have been laid off because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It is with a heavy heart that I must share with you some news about YWCA Princeton. We have temporarily suspended all programming indefinitely,” reads an email by YWCA Executive Director Judy Hutton to members.

All physical programming has been shut down, with a few exceptions. The Tribute to Women awards ceremony, the organization’s largest annual fundraiser, has also been postponed.

Hutton said the organization will lose an estimated $200,000 a month for every month that the YWCA is closed. She said this will prohibit the YWCA from rebounding quickly once it is deemed safe to resume operations and open again. It is uncertain how the pandemic will affect the YWCA’s summer program building renovation plans, she wrote.

A volunteer is running the weekly support groups for the YWCA’s Breast Cancer Resource Center. Staff members from the organization’s Young Wonders Child Development Center are reaching out to parents on a weekly basis with updates about the child care program, and a staff member is providing parents with online music resources for children. Staff members from the English as a second language program are also moving the program to remote, online learning

“Our staff, board of directors, and volunteer committees are in constant communication about how the YWCA Princeton can emerge from this in a position of strength, leadership, and continuing our most critical services ASAP,” reads the letter. “We are continuously monitoring federal, state, and philanthropic aid to see if YWCA is eligible for support. Families have been displaced and disrupted because our doors are closed. Children in our childcare center, breast cancer survivors, and others need YWCA Princeton more than ever. We are available, as much as we can be, as resources for you.”