YWCA Cortland To Close Main Facility and All Programs to the Public at 6:00 p.m. on Tuesday, March 17 Until Further Notice

 Aid to Victims of Violence Program to Continue Critical Services by Appointment Only Unless in an Emergency; Crisis Hotline to Remain Open 24/7

[Cortland, New York, March 17, 2020] YWCA Cortland will close its main facility located at 14 Clayton Ave. in Cortland and all programs to the public at 6:00 p.m. on Tuesday, March 17 until further notice. Its Aid to Victims of Violence (AVV) program will continue to provide critical services by appointment only unless in an emergency. The Crisis Hotline (607-756-6363 or 1-800-336-9622) will remain open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, as usual.

YWCA leadership determined this closure is necessary in response to: the State of Emergency issued by Cortland County on March 15; New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s mandate to close gym facilities on March 16; and, guidelines regarding best practices for social distancing during the COVID-19 crisis established by reputable health authorities, such as state and county health departments, the United States Centers for Diseases Control (CDC), and the World Health Organization (WHO).

“We recognize that many in our community will miss connecting with their social networks through the various programs offered at the YWCA,” said Kelly Tobin, YWCA Cortland’s Executive Director. “However, because we take the health and safety of our members, staff, volunteers, program participants, visitors, and community members seriously, we believe this is an action we must take.”

“YWCA remains committed to serving our community now and in the future, after this situation has passed,” Tobin continued. “Now more than ever, we need the support of those dedicated to helping us achieve our mission to eliminate racism, empower women, and promote peace, justice, freedom, and dignity for all. If you are able, we encourage our donors and members to continue the financial support that will be crucial in the days to come.”

The AVV program encourages anyone needing services to call 607-753-3639 to schedule an appointment unless they are experiencing an emergency or crisis situation. Then they should call the Crisis Hotline (607-756-6363 or 1-800-336-9622), which will remain available 24/7. The AVV program has suspended support and educational groups, off-site presentations and community outreach, and off-site intake work, except for crisis intervention, until further notice. AVV staff will follow strict infection control guidelines for all scheduled appointments.

YWCA has canceled until further notice all Bridges for Kids and GEMS (Girls: Empowered, Motivated, and Successful) individual and group meetings and activities. Although volunteer mentors have been instructed to no longer meet in person with their mentees, YWCA has encouraged them to keep in touch with the children they have been mentoring through phone calls as this type of contact is crucial during this time of crisis. Families in the Bridges for Kids program should feel free to contact Mindy Gardner, YWCA’s Mentoring Director, by email at if they are experiencing needs in the home and she will do the best she can to find help and serve them.

The Health & Fitness program canceled all of its programs and classes and closed the weight rooms, pool, cycling area, gymnasium, and multi-purpose room at 8:00 p.m. on Monday, March 16.

YWCA Cortland’s Daycare and School Age program will close to the public at 6:00 p.m. on Tuesday, March 17. It will reopen child care operations on Thursday, March 19, to serve only those individuals identified by Cortland County as essential personnel in maintaining needed services and resources in the community during the State of Emergency. Essential personnel employers include emergency response professionals, medical professionals, child care professionals, etc. A full list of these employers can be found on the YWCA website (

At the time of this release, YWCA staff will continue to report to work on a limited basis and front desk staff will be available to answer questions by phone at 607-753-9651 between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. YWCA is dedicated to keeping lines of communication with the community open. It will post updates on its website and social media pages as changes in operations occur.



YWCA Cortland is dedicated to eliminating racism, empowering women, and promoting peace, justice, freedom, and dignity for all. It celebrates diversity in its membership and offers programming for women, men, and children of all ages through four core program and service areas: Aid to Victims of Violence, Child Care, Mentoring, and Health and Fitness. YWCA Cortland strives to meet the changing needs of the women and their families in Cortland County. It is part of an international movement serving over 2 million in the United States and 25 million worldwide. Learn more:,,, and



YWCA USA is on a mission to eliminate racism, empower women, stand up for social justice, help families, and strengthen communities. It is one of the oldest and largest women’s organizations in the nation, serving over 2 million women, girls, and their families.

YWCA has been at the forefront of the most pressing social movements for more than 160 years — from voting rights to civil rights, from affordable housing to pay equity, from violence prevention to health care reform. Today, it combines programming and advocacy in order to generate institutional change in three key areas: racial justice and civil rights, empowerment and economic advancement of women and girls, and health and safety of women and girls. Learn more: