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 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.
Manchester 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. YWCA NH works to meet its mission through the delivery of social service programs that enrich the general community of girls, women and families of all socio-economic backgrounds. Whether it is through our REACH Crisis Services which provides advocacy and support services to victims of domestic and sexual violence, our shelter Emily’s Place, a safe and confidential shelter for women and their children who are victims/survivors of domestic violence and/or sexual violence, or our support groups.
The names of classes or services change with the times but the focus to utilize women’s energy to respond to the needs of women and girls goes on with as great a crescendo as it did in 1920.
Annette Perkins, original Executive Director for YWCA New Hampshire, can be seen to the right placing items into the time capsule in the current YWCA NH building.