YWCA GLENDALE AND PASADENA HAS BEEN ELIMINATING RACISM AND EMPOWERING WOMEN IN OUR COMMUNITY FOR OVER 95 YEARS.
Wanting full access to a recreational facility in Glendale, California, 15 of the community’s prominent women founded YWCA Glendale to promote health and wellness among Glendale’s women and girls.
During the depression, emergency relief became a principal activity. In 1933 alone, we provided over 400 meals and 81 free beds to women and girls in economic crisis. By 1934, YWCA Glendale created two permanent residences for single women. That same year, we created a summer camp program.
YWCA Glendale acquired the building at 735 E Lexington Drive, which has been our location ever since. At the time, the building housed 30 women, with a commissary and a health education program.
By the mid-1950s, YWCA Glendale was an established and well-known community center for women and girls, having served over 15,000 girls in 1956 alone. In 1969, we officially closed our residency program and turned our focus toward promoting health and safety in the Glendale community.
YWCA Glendale joined the national movement to address and end domestic violence by opening Sunrise Village, an emergency shelter for survivors. Our emergency shelter, which still runs today, is a 45-day emergency shelter for families in crisis due to domestic violence. Through donations and grants, all residents receive food, clothing and supportive services while staying with us.
With the national domestic violence movement gaining momentum, our programs grew exponentially. We expanded our Domestic Violence Program to include a Children’s Program and a Domestic Violence Service Center, which continues to provide crisis intervention, case management, legal services, individual and group counseling, and community referrals to survivors in the greater Los Angeles area.
Initially passed in 1994, the Violence Against Women Act created the first U.S. federal legislation acknowledging domestic violence and sexual assault as crimes, and provided federal resources to encourage community-coordinated responses to combating violence. With this funding we were able to expand our programs even further.
Camp Y opened in 2010, providing enrichment activities for children in the Glendale community. In 2018 we began running Camp Rosie: Girls on the Rise, which focuses on STEAM Education and healthy relationships workshops for girls. In 2019, we began offering TechGYRLS programming, providing girls with Google CS first coding camps to build 21st Century skills.
By 2014, YWCA Glendale was a keystone in the movement to end domestic violence in Glendale, developing partnerships with local community and government agencies. In October of 2014, we hosted our first Candlelight Vigil, honoring those whom had lost their lives to domestic violence and celebrating the work our community has done in the field.
In 2017, we launched a Domestic Violence Housing First Program to include housing and homelessness prevention services, creating an opportunity to help survivors transition from homelessness to permanent, safe housing.
In 2020, YWCA Glendale responded to the local impacts of the COVID-19 global pandemic, quickly transitioning all of our Domestic Violence Resource Center programs to tele-health platforms, while continuing to operate our emergency shelter as an essential service provider. We also launched a new curbside grocery pick up program to address the food insecurity accelerated by the pandemic. Girls’ Empowerment Programs went virtual and expanded to include Girls’ Circle, an after school program and new TechGYRLS’ workshops on coding, robotics and circuitry. In response to our community’s call for racial justice following the murder of George Floyd, we formed the Coalition for an Anti-Racist Glendale to drive systemic change and advance racial equity in our community. In 2021, after a year of jointly producing Girls’ Empowerment Programs with YWCA Pasadena-Foothill Valley, both organizations officially joined forces to streamline operations and programming, under YWCA Glendale’s leadership. As the parent organization in the new subsidiary structure, YWCA Glendale changed its name to YWCA Glendale and Pasadena in March 2021.