Since 1906 YWCA Utah has strengthened the safety, health and well-being of Utah women and their families. Our enduring belief has been that better lives for women–all women–will lead to stronger families and communities.
Employment, fair working conditions, racial discrimination, affordable housing, family violence, homelessness, and teen pregnancy are some of the issues the YWCA has addressed during its first century in Utah. Throughout its history the YWCA has worked to meet the needs of underserved populations – women migrating west to find work during the Depression, servicemen during World War I and World War II, and relocated Japanese-Americans after World War II. The YWCA offered Utah’s first African-American and Japanese-American girls clubs, women’s boarding house, public cafeteria, women’s employment bureau, and local traveler’s aid society.
Since opening the first domestic violence crisis shelter in Utah in 1976, the YWCA has developed an integrated range of programs in the area of family violence, including shelter and transitional housing for homeless women and children. The YWCA’s trauma-informed programs address a variety of basic, immediate needs for safety, shelter, food, and clothing, as well as longer term needs for affordable housing, quality child care, economic empowerment, racial justice, emotional health, and physical well-being. Today the YWCA is Utah’s oldest, largest, and most comprehensive provider of shelter, transitional housing, education, and supportive services for women and children who have experienced family violence.
YWCA Utah's programs and services are currently located in six buildings on our campus in downtown Salt Lake City.
The historic Peter M. and Paula Green Johnson building was designed by renowned architect Julia Morgan in 1919. It houses the YWCA’s business operations and membership and advocacy efforts. The Lolie Eccles Early Education Center is the home of our nationally-accredited child care center, and the Kathleen Robison Huntsman Apartments feature 36 two- and three-bedroom apartments for women and their children.
In October 2010, we opened the doors of two new residences, the Kathleen Robison Huntsman Residence and the McCarthey Residence, that offer crisis and extended shelter, transitional housing and supportive services, and increased the number of available shelter beds to 181—one-third of Utah’s total domestic violence shelter bed capacity.
In June 2012, the new Center for Families was completed, and now houses the expanded Salt Lake Area Family Justice Center, the YWCA’s education and volunteer programs, and welcoming, well-equipped meeting areas for YWCA programs and community partners.