Saturday, November 22, 2014

Change at YMCA: Reminder to Support Northwest HUB!

There's always more to a story than we read or hear about. Always. Life's messy and complex.

But this sure looks strange.

The Y's new Executive Director who hasn't even started yet, comes into town from Oklahoma and "delivers layoff notices" to the man he's replacing and three others: the "Interim Executive Director...[and] communications director, campaign director and senior director of health innovations."

There's a "house-cleaning" for you. Layoffs suck, and this looks like an especially unpleasant one for the organization and for those who are losing jobs.

So why is this news here?

Because the Second Chance Recyclery, the bike program administered jointly by the YMCA and Hillcrest, was under the senior director of health innovations, and the program may be orphaned, unable to find another home in the org chart.

Collecting bikes in 2012
The "health innovations" group was also the home, I believe, for the local "Pioneering Healthier Communities" project and networked with the County Community Health Improvement Partnership.

Hillcrest Program
could see change
These kinds of system health projects don't necessarily have billable hours and easy revenue streams associated with them. Crucially, they are about costs in time and in health we have externalized and made invisible, and we don't have systems to price those costs and to capture revenue accordingly. The programs require subsidy at the moment.

But since the new Executive Director looks like he wants more of a transactional, fee-for-service, "business-oriented" approach to the non-profit, programming like this will be evaluated and could be in jeopardy.

If you want a Y engaged in the wider community, it will be time to let them know. Otherwise, we may find the Y digging into a more narrow health club and gym model.

It's also a good time to support Northwest Hub - even more, it looks like it will need to be the successor entity to the Second Chance Recyclery.


Laurie Dougherty said...

This is a real shame. I just posted the comment below on the Statesman Journal article and copied it to the Y through their online contact form. I tried to send it to Janice Naimy also but her email address at the Y bounced "No Such User Here."

"I am sorry to learn of these layoffs. I had the pleasure of interviewing Janice Naimy for an article in Salem Weekly about the 2nd Chance Bicycle Recycling collaboration between the Salem YMCA and Hillcrest Youth Facility. Unwanted bicycles collected by the Y and repaired and tuned up by Hillcrest residents are made available to community members in need of transportation. This is a great example of an innovative project contributing to community health in multiple ways. What future innovations and valuable programs will be lost to Salem through these layoffs?"

Anonymous said...

The paper updated their story online. Apparently in 2013 the Y ran a $200K deficit. Presumably, 2014 wasn't going any better.