YWCA is dedicated to eliminating racism, empowering women and promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all.

HISTORY

The YWCA of Yakima was founded in 1909 when a handful of young women decided they needed an organization of their own. Yakima Philanthropist Alexander Miller donated $80,000 to the YWCA for a site and modern building. Miss Mary Remy, a founding board member, designed the building that would become the permanent home of the YWCA. Ground was broken in August of 1934 and the dedication was held on May 12, 1935. Everyone in the community helped get the new home of the YWCA on its feet. Gifts of furniture, office equipment and kitchen supplies were given by many.

Every since the doors opened the YWCA has provided a home away from home and programs offering opportunities to relax, learn a skill or craft and make many friends. Early programs included Traveler's Aid (for women traveling that need a place to stay the night), an Employment Services Bureau, women's residence, and the Cafeteria. In 1940, over 250 women and girls were registered in clubs: bridge lessons, participate in book reviews, craft lessons, gymnasium classes, discussions of public affairs, and distributed Thanksgiving and Christmas baskets. In 1940, 43 girls lived at the YWCA paid $2.50-$3.75 a week for a room. Transient guests numbered 254 in Pullman beds and 186 in dormitory.

Over the years the YWCA of Yakima established Head Start and Displaced Homemakers programs as well as the first babysitting classes for girls. It served as the early home of the local League of Women's Voters, and in 1916 a Camp Fire group was formed and met at the YWCA. Since 1940, the YWCA has been the home of activities such as tumbling classes for kids, Spanish classes, dog obedience school, camp, ski bus, ballet classes and exercising. The YWCA continued its tradition as an agent for social change by addressing the number one crime against women--domestic violence. A shelter and support services for battered women and their children were opened in 1978.

Today, we are empowering women and girls, building self-sufficient women, and eliminating family violence--these three focuses underlie everything that we do at the YWCA Yakima. From providing emergency shelter to a domestic violence victim and her children, to helping a young girl discover the exciting world of science, we intertwine these focuses to create experiences that help women grow. Underlying all we do is a commitment to collaboration with other organizations and the celebration of diversity.