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 maître 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 www.ywcapiercecounty.org and see how you can assist the YWCA in their journey.