The YWCA is the oldest women-focused social service organization in Chicago. It was formed by 13 women who met on December 12, 1876, to address their concerns for the growing number of single women who were coming to Chicago for work during the boom years after the great fire. You can click here for information regarding our historical records.
The YWCA and YMCA are not affiliated in any way. The YWCA is committed to empowering women and eliminating racism. We take a woman-focused approach to issues and services we offer because when women thrive, families thrive.
Yes. In 2015, formally changed its corporate name from the “Young Women’s Christian Association of the United States of America, Inc.” to “YWCA USA, Inc.” We followed YWCA USA’s example, beginning to use the name “YWCA Metropolitan Chicago” in 2015 and formally changing our business registration more recently. The name change reflects our present commitment to promoting peace, justice, freedom, and dignity for all, regardless of a person’s religion. The updated name enables us to engage more broadly with individuals, groups, and communities to maximize the impact of our work to eliminate racism and empower women.
The YWCA has many centers located throughout the Chicagoland area. Click here for a list of locations.
Our services are focused on the areas of sexual violence and support services, economic empowerment and child care. Our mission to eliminate racism and empower women is actualized through a large breadth of our programs and services.
Since the 1930s, the YWCA has worked against prejudice and intolerance. The YWCA officially incorporated "the elimination of racism" into our mission statement fifty years ago, when we recognized that we could not achieve the empowerment of women without working for equality for all women, regardless of their color or creed.
The YWCA offers violence and sexual abuse prevention programs in schools and to community groups. We also offer youth development programs and computer training classes. Click here for more information about YWCA trainings and workshops.
No. The last YWCA residence in Chicago closed in 1971.