I am writing in my capacity as the head of the Members Advisory Council of Club 1527, the senior membership group at the Ken Edwards Center. There are 717 Santa Monica residents, age 50 and older, who are currently members of Club 1527. I am also a 39-year resident of Santa Monica, now retired from a career in social work. I had been the executive director of Family Service of Santa Monica for nine years here in Santa Monica, an agency that supported families with individual and group counseling services.

Having worked in a community-based organization for many years, I understand the many challenges that face smaller-sized nonprofit agencies. It is always disheartening when one hears that a local nonprofit has closed its operations. The Santa Monica YWCA has been a wonderful resource to our community residents, and it is sad to hear of its closure after 90 years.

I understand that the property has been listed for sale, and I would encourage the YWCA board to consider a charitable transfer to another community-based organization. WISE & Healthy Aging has proposed to create an intergenerational campus on that site. It would be such a benefit to have intergenerational day care programming in our community – a first! I know WISE & Healthy Aging to be an organization that cares for the community, and is in a strong position to be a great steward of a legacy for the YWCA.

It is my hope, and many others in our community, that the YWCA board will consider keeping the property with another community-based nonprofit for continued community benefit.

Karen Howard

Santa Monica