Whole Life Magazine

April / May 2016

Issue link: http://digital.copcomm.com/i/659479

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Page 27 of 43

W hile everybody knows the iconic song, travelers o en don't realize that stay- ing at a YMCA or YWCA is a viable option, even for grown-ups. When I arrived at Vancouver, B.C.'s YWCA Hotel at midnight, I found it clean and well-lit, with a cheerfully decorated lobby and friendly 24-hour sta . My room was small, but the twin bed was comfortable. I had a sink, desk and just enough space to do compact sun salutations. I shared the bathroom with the adjoining room. e stay in- cluded a pass to the gorgeous and well-equipped YWCA gym about 10 blocks away. Pretty good for 60 US dollars! Even better, the YWCA Hotel is part of Vancouver's small but strong non-denomi- national social enterprise move- ment, and has more pro-active interactions with the community than YWCA's 12 Los Angeles "empowerment sites" are able to provide. e Vancouver Y's guests nancially support women, children and families who need the Y's services. Social enterprise businesses may be nonpro ts or for-prof- it companies that puts social, cultural, community economic and/or environmental outcomes rst, and pro ts second. Many also include training programs to increase the skills of people typically excluded from the main- stream economy. In Vancouver, I sought out these mission- rst busi- nesses and the innovators who keep them going. SKWACHÀYS LODGE I like the Y, but next time I might stay at the more upscale, totem pole topped Skwachàys Lodge. Its 18 boutique hotel rooms partially subsidize 24 units of housing and studio space for low-income First Na- tions artists, and a ground oor art gallery. Six of Van- couver's top designers created an aboriginal theme for each room. Guests can use the onsite smudge room and sweat lodge. and well-equipped YWCA gym Vancouver Social Enterprise Vacation Funneling tourist dollars directly to the community ~ By Teresa Bergen ~ Photos: Craig Minielly, Aura Photographic 28 wholelifetimes.com

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