YWCA Northeast Indiana began its journey in 1894 as the YWCA of Fort Wayne. Its original founding purpose was to be a safe place for employed women to meet. Over time it grew to serve a variety of diverse needs from serving meals, to providing sports programs for children with disabilities, to becoming the first shelter for abused women in Indiana. In 2009, YWCA of Fort Wayne changed its name to YWCA Northeast Indiana and expanded its client service area to all of Allen, DeKalb, Huntington, Noble, Wells, and Whitley counties. Today, YWCA Northeast Indiana’s mission is dedicated to eliminating racism, empowering women, and promoting peace, justice, freedom, and dignity for all. YWCA Northeast Indiana’s dedication to the rights and dignities of citizens is why we were proud to name them a Funded Partner in the 2019-2022 Funding Cycle.
YWCA Northeast Indiana provides a range of services to people who are experiencing domestic and sexual violence, including free counseling, advocacy, and a 24/7 crisis shelter. For individuals who do not need their crisis shelter, they provide community-based advocacy services throughout their six-county footprint. Additionally, they provide an intensive residential treatment program in a sub-acute medical facility for women 18 years and older who are struggling with substance use disorder. To ensure the children are not forgotten, YWCA Northeast Indiana also has trauma-informed staff to care for their needs as well.
The YWCA is also dedicated to eliminating racism. They offer educational initiatives like their Diversity Dialogue event series and Racial Justice 101 blog series. They launched their first annual Race Against Racism 5K Walk/Run that took place in April.
YWCA Northeast Indiana provides services through their Dress for Success program to assist women in becoming financially self-sufficient. Dress for Success offers resume assistance, interviewing tips, and other job search services, along with professional apparel, so women can feel confident as they seek employment. Additionally, their Goldstein Family Scholarship Program awards scholarships to female survivors of domestic violence. They also teach a variety of curricula to youth and adults throughout their six counties. Their youth learn how to keep themselves safe from dating violence, and the impact that bullying has on others. Adults receive a variety of learning opportunities as well and can receive this training in their workplace or through other organizations. To learn more about their education services, visit https://ywcanein.com/education-services.
The YWCA recently acquired the former Hall’s Guesthouse, located at 1313 W. Washington Center Road, now known as The Hefner Center. Once renovations are completed, this new home will combine all their locations and programs into one building to better meet the community need for addiction recovery services for women, domestic violence services, and sexual assault services.
If the mission of YWCA Northeast Indiana inspires you, there are plenty of ways to get involved with them. If you are interested in volunteering, there are numerous opportunities for groups and individuals, including one-time or reoccurring visits. They are often looking for groups to help prepare the new building, The Hefner Center, for upcoming renovations. They also love having individual volunteers come in to lead groups with clients or help with other tasks. To inquire or learn more about volunteer opportunities, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit their website at www.ywcanein.com/volunteer. Another wonderful way to get involved with YWCA Northeast Indiana is to volunteer on one of their committees. The YWCA relies on committees of external volunteers to help them plan events, help with development and marketing projects, and serve as advisors for various operational tasks. To review all committee options please visit www.ywcanein.com/board-and-committees or email email@example.com.
If you would like to donate to the YWCA Northeast Indiana, they accept monetary and in-kind donations. To review their in-kind wish list, please visit www.ywcanein.com/in-kind-needswish-list. If you would prefer to donate monetarily, you can donate via credit card by visiting their website (www.ywcanein.com/donate), or send your contribution via mail to YWCA Northeast Indiana, Attn: Development, 5920 Decatur Road, Fort Wayne, IN 46816. Your donation can fulfill a wide variety of needs. For example, if you donate $50, you can provide one family at the YWCA a week of meals. A gift as big as $1,000 can shelter a family of four at the YWCA for two weeks. Whether you would like to volunteer your time or donate, the YWCA is always looking for helpful community members to aid them in their mission.
YWCA Northeast Indiana’s mission of eliminating racism, empowering women, and promoting peace, justice, freedom, and dignity for all has shone through in all its work in Northeast Indiana. We at United Way of Allen County appreciate the YWCA’s presence in our community and look forward to its continuing impact in the future.
Thank you to YWCA Northeast Indiana for your commitment to the rights and dignity of citizens in Northeast Indiana.