In 1894, the YWCA Seattle | King | Snohomish was started by a small group of pioneering women. Their goal was to ensure the safety of girls leaving rural homes and moving to the rough and tumble frontier city of Seattle. Back then, the YWCA gave young women dime lunches and offered depot matrons to escort them through Pioneer Square.
In the 120 years since then, the YWCA has grown in both size and scope. It now provides a wide array of services that meet the needs of our diverse community. Housing, employment, youth leadership, and more – in 2013, these services touched the lives of more than 49,000 women, men and children.
While these programs meet the essential needs of individuals on a daily basis, the YWCA also has a vision for our community and is working to create a place where ALL people can live with dignity – free from violence, racism and discrimination.
Improving the health of underserved communities is an important part of that vision. This includes homeless and low-income women, minority women, and LGBTQ individuals, who often face health disparities linked to social stigma and discrimination. People of all genders and sexualities deserve access to the resources they need for optimal wellness.
Here are a few of the ways the YWCA works to protect the well-being of people in our community:
Rainbow Women’s Health Fair
This Pride Weekend event has provided Seattle’s LBTQ community with access to health care information and services since 1997. Now led by the YWCA, women and transgendered individuals can find free mammograms, pap tests, massage, nutrition, safe sex resources, and more. Find the Rainbow Women’s Health Fair on Saturday, June 28 from 1 to 5 p.m., at the All Pilgrim’s Church (500 Broadway East). [More]
Women’s Health Outreach
A sisterhood of women facing HIV together, BABES offers peer support, advocacy, education and outreach to all individuals who identify as women. Through phone calls, support groups and an annual retreat, this program reduces isolation, promotes self-empowerment, enhances the quality of life and serves the needs of women facing HIV and their families. [More]
None of this work would be possible without the support of dedicated individuals, organizations and businesses in Seattle and beyond. Please visit our website to learn more about the YWCA and find out what you can do to support the well-being of all people in our region. For our most recent news, event updates and more, follow @YWCAworks on Facebook and Twitter.