Since its beginnings in 1888, the YWCA NorthEastern NY (NENY) has been a constant innovator in providing programs and services to meet the changing needs in the community. The YWCA NENY is a charter member of the YWCA USA, the oldest and largest women’s membership organization. During 2014, the YWCA, with its headquarters in Schenectady, NY served over 10,000 women, men and children through a variety of programs and services – 78% of them are low-income.
The two main program service areas of the YWCA NENY are Youth & Family Services and Women’s Services. Youth & Family Services’ Early Childhood Education Centers offer full-day daycare that is NAEYC (National Association for the Education of Young Children) accredited and NYS licensed early childhood education – using an anti-bias curriculum in a multi-cultural environment with an emphasis placed on each child’s individual strengths. The Innovative Program component coordinates the YW’s portion of SCED’s (Schenectady County Embraces Diversity) Racism and Race Relations Study Circle Initiative and offers comprehensive health & fitness programs, both land and water based. The ENCORE – Take Charge of Your Health program offers breast education programs for women. The CASH component, Creating Assets Savings and Hope provides tax preparation through VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) sites and financial education services. Women’s Services’, Domestic Violence component provides a 24-hour Hotline, shelter for battered victims and their children, individual and group counseling and advocacy services. Each year, approximately 200 homeless and/or very low-income women call the YWCA NENY “home” through the Housing Program. Support services for the women include advocacy, counseling, support groups, information and referrals, health and recreation opportunities and an emergency food pantry and clothing closet. The YES – YWCA Employment Services component is a workforce development program designed to assist domestic violence victims and homeless/formerly homeless women in obtaining employment and education.