The YWCA of Western Massachusetts was established in 1868 as the Springfield Women’s Christian Association. Originally an auxiliary of the Springfield YMCA, the women made it clear from the outset that is was their desire to establish a boarding house for women. The women resolved from the start “to improve the intellectual, social, temporal and spiritual welfare of women, especially young women dependent upon their own exertions for support.” In 1884, the women built their 3-story Bliss Street residence (now the Springfield Rescue Mission) and in 1909, they built their large Howard Street facility (now the Western Mass Correctional Alcohol Center). In 2004, the YWCA completed its $8.2 million facility at One Clough Street in Springfield.
Our YWCA boasts a long, full and distinguished history of service to women and children. In 2015, the organization remains focused on its mission - the empowerment of women and the elimination of racism as a SOMWBA certified Women’s Business Enterprise (WBE). The YWCA employs more than 120 professional staff operating at its 7 locations in Springfield, Westfield, Holyoke, and Northampton. It administers federal, state, county, municipal and private grants which total in excess of $6 million.
The YWCA of Western Massachusetts is the state’s largest provider of services to battered women and pregnant/parenting adolescent girls. Its hallmark is the provision of innovative, client-centered, responsive and responsible service. In 2004, the YWCA completed construction of a 48-bed emergency shelter and community based service building. A 28-unit Supportive Housing Program building was completed in 2010.