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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

If These Walls Could Talk

Monday night I went on an interesting tour of the YWCA building. Miriam Barnett, Executive Director invited me and several other business women on a tour as she is very passionate of the work they do and loves to share her passion with others. Recently we had attended the annual YWCA luncheon and requested more information about this worthwhile organization, so a tour seemed very fitting to get insight into their day to day operations. Being a historian I loved seeing the swimming pool (which was drained in the 1990’s), the view overlooking Commencement Bay; the narrow stairwell with concrete steps; the locker room; gymnasium and the performance stage which now "acts" as an office. Just think of the plays women used to perform in this building! Of course my mind wanders with the stories the walls could tell if only they could talk. However interesting the history of this building is, the immediate need is much greater. Women call the shelter every day to see if there is room available for themselves and their children; seeking a safe place to stay and find assistance to get away from domestic violence and into a job, to find self worth and a home of their own.

The YWCA opened in 1927 in Tacoma by a group of women who raised money in just two weeks to provide a safe place to stay for traveling women. In the early 1930’s a maĆ®tre de’ from the YWCA would wait at the train station seeking women who traveled alone and needed a place to stay, offering the YWCA to fill that need. In 1976 the building was transformed into its current use – again a safe place; now offering a support shelter and services for women of domestic violence. Think for a few minutes of the needs of these women.

I encourage you to view their website and see how you can assist the YWCA in their journey.


Stephanie Frieze said...

Patty, do you know if the YWCA still provides rooms for women who are homeless, but not as a result of domestic violence, or are traveling on limited funds? How about the YMCA?

JosephMcG said...

Thanks, Stephanie, for wonderfully describing a most important need.


kinsmed said...

I never knew.
I lived six years two blocks from there- always wondered about that building.
Thank you and well done.

Kim Thompson said...

Patty, you seen to have the inside scoop on all of these buildings! Thanks for your eagerness to learn, curiosity, and for sharing your finds!

Kelly McDonald said...

If you are interested in touring the YWCA Pierce County's historic building,please contact Kelly McDonald at 253-272-4181, ext. 243 or!

Due to the safety concerns of our clients,the YWCA offers shelter to women and children fleeing domestic violence solely.

Thank you all for your interest in our efforts to transform the lives of women and children through safety, healing, and empowerment.

Patty Cake said...

Thank you Kim, Stephanie, Kinsmed, Joseph

I am sure you can tell this very worthwhile organization is VERY important to me!

Kelly does a wonderful job in her development position. I encourage you to get in contact with her!

Lorraine Hart said...

Thank you to Kelly McDonald and to the YWCA for incredible work on behalf of abused women, from the bottom of my heart and experience. Shelter in a storm.