Our History

In the spring of 1920, one hundred working women met with other community women to discuss the possible organization of a YWCA and by September of that same year, the Manchester YWCA (our original name) was born. The early focus behind its new existence was to provide housing, recreation, adult education and to help young, working women that came to work in the factories.

The YWCA continued that work through the 1960’s and then in 1962 at the YWCA National Convention there was a call for YWCA’s to re-examine their service and concentrations “with a new urgency to help women and girls find meaning in their own lives; to develop to their full capacity for leadership; and to play an effective and constructive part in community life today.” 

YWCA New Hampshire continues that important work today.

In the 1980s YWCA New Hampshire began providing advocacy and services to survivors of domestic and sexual violence. REACH Crisis Services transitioned to a stand-alone provider in 2024. The work to advocate for the health and safety of women and girls continues today. This year YWCA New Hampshire will host the Week Without Violence campaign to offer dialogues, workshops, and community service opportunities to take action against all forms of violence.

The names of classes or services change with the times and evolving needs of our communities, but the focus to respond to the needs of women and girls goes on with as great a passion as it did in 1920.

We’re not new to this work—we’re true to this work!

(YWCA basketball team, 1920, on the left. Annette Perkins, original Executive Director, can be seen in 1928 placing items in the time capsule in the current YWCA NH building, on the right.)


YWCA NH Basketball 1920
Annette Perkins YWCA NH