The history of the YWCA is the history of progress in America.
The YWCA White Plains & Central Westchester (YWCA) was started in 1929. Since then, the YWCA has been at the forefront of movements for equal rights for women and people of color.
The YWCA has been a pioneer for social change through innovative programs that improve the lives of women, children, and families in Westchester County. Our 85+ years of commitment, along with our unique combination of programming and advocacy, makes the YWCA the oldest, largest and one of the most accomplished diverse organizations in the fight for social justice.
The YWCA has been committed to racial justice and human rights since the start of our movement. Our mission is to “eliminate racism, empower women and promote peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all.” Since we’ve opened our doors, the YWCA has consistently worked toward the empowerment of women and girls and the elimination of racism and other forms of oppression.
For more than 85 years, the YWCA has served White Plains and neighboring communities through a variety of programs designed to achieve our mission. In 1966, the YWCA opened the Lila Wallace Activities Center on North Street, currently serving over 4,000 people each week. With the gift of property on North Broadway in 1967, the YWCA opened the Residence for Women, which was expanded in 1972 by constructing a second building. At our residence, the “YWCA Commons” on North Broadway, we provide safe, affordable housing and support services for 183 women. Understanding that a bed alone is not always enough, we provide an array of on-site services designed to increase self-sufficiency, promote employment readiness (including referral services), provide recovery assistance, and independent living skills.
Each week, more than 2,000 children come to the YWCA Activities Center on North Street to participate in our programs, which include; childcare and early education at the Children’s Learning Center, Aquatics, Gymnastics, and before and after school care at Kids’ Connection.
In October of 1997, the YWCA opened a safe, secure, pleasant and nurturing environment for kids at our Childcare Center at the White Plains Courthouse, that has served more than 2,100 children since the inception of the program. Many of our programs provide limited financial assistance each year to families in need.
The YWCA’s Special Programs serves 341 children, adolescents and adults with developmental disabilities by providing recreation for participants and respite for families.
The majority of our programs are co-ed and we serve children 6 weeks to 90+-year-old adults. Our population is diverse with respect to race/ethnicity, religion, physical ability, sexual orientation and socio-economic status. Programs and services are continuously evaluated in the context of our mission, community demographics, and unmet needs.