YWCA Flint | Finding Light at the End of the Tunnel


In times when some women and children are looking on their darkest hours, finding a place to turn to like the YWCA is finding light at the end of the tunnel. Left without a leader for a time last year, the YWCA recently appointed their new CEO, our communities own, Heidi McAra. The former CEO of they, Kathy

 Horton, was on the search committee for the new CEO and reached out to Heidi to interview for the position.“I was honored that they would have considered me for the position.” said McAra. It’s a tough job to step in and shoulder the weight of stabilizing an organization in flux, but if anyone can do it, she definitely can. With a background in law, much charity work under her belt, and two successful Paw Palace locations, she is well respected in the community and well equipped to handle all of the needs that the organization will require of her. 

Facing many challenges with funding, aging facilities, and keeping strong relationships with the community and their supporters, there is a lot of work ahead. The YWCA of Flint provides services that are very strong and well respected in the community, thanks to the strong staff of the Flint facility. Providing a safehouse for survivors of domestic abuse, providing legal advocacy and counseling services for victims, and also helping to draw attention to worthy causes such as human trafficking in our own backyard is not a job for the lighthearted but a job that Heidi’s multifaceted background has given her the tools to oversee.

Trying to draw attention to these serious causes isn’t always easy, but events like the “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes” event, taking place May 28th downtown Flint, is a playful opportunity for men to raise awareness in their community about the serious causes, effects and remediation’s to men’s sexualized violence against women. Frank Baird created Walk a Mile in Her Shoes® in 2001. What started out as a small group of men daring to totter around a park in women’s high heeled shoes has grown to become a world-wide movement with tens of thousands of men raising millions of dollars for local rape crisis centers, domestic violence shelters and other sexualized violence education, prevention and remediation programs.

For more information on this and other YWCA events www.ywca.org/flint