Who We Are

It Takes Courage

YWCA Western New York is dedicated to eliminating racism, empowering women and promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all. Our vision is a thriving community without divide.

Since YWCA WNY’s founding in 1870, we have been on the forefront of the most critical social movements. YWCA WNY does not back down from tough issues and our team is dedicated to forwarding our collective mission to eliminate racism and empower women.

YWCA WNY is active in advocacy efforts and awareness campaigns that advance women’s economic empowerment, advance a work and family agenda, and educate people about domestic violence and what we can do to end the cycle of violence.

Governed by an all-female Board of Directors, the YWCA WNY is headquartered at The School House Commons, 1005 Grant Street, Buffalo, NY. In 2016, YWCA WNY served over 3,500 individuals.

It Takes Commitment

Since 1870, YWCA WNY has responded to the needs of the community by providing high quality programs and services that promote racial justice and advance women’s empowerment. This commitment continues today through a continuum of comprehensive supports and services, focused specifically on individuals and families living with the inter-related issues associated with poverty and homelessness.

Children and Youth Services: YWCA WNY has a long tradition of delivering comprehensive programs that foster healthy development and nurture the potential of every child. Serving low-income children and their families, our comprehensive children and youth programs provide educational, social, emotional and wellness programs that promote school success and family involvement, reflect the cultural diversity of our participants, and facilitate connections between families and needed community services.

School House Commons Early Childhood and School Age Child Care Centers: located at School House Commons, 1005 Grant Street, Buffalo, NY we provide early childhood, afterschool and out-of-school time programming for children six weeks through 12 years of age.

After-school at Cleveland Hill Elementary: located at Cleveland Hill Elementary School in Cheektowaga, this program provides academic and enrichment after-school programming to Kindergarten through 6th grade students.

Lackawanna Middle School Extended School Day (ESD) Program: located at Lackawanna Middle School, ESD provides after-school academic and enrichment programming to 6th through 8th grade students.

Children’s Centers in the Courts: located at both Erie County Family Court, 1 Niagara Plaza, Buffalo, NY and Buffalo City Court, 50 Delaware Avenue, Buffalo, NY, the Children’s Centers provide a safe, nurturing, literacy-rich environment for children in the Court houses. The Centers facilitate connections between families and needed community services.

Teen Empowerment & Mentoring Program: located at JFK Community Center and CRUCIAL Community Center in Buffalo, NY, provides after-school/out-of-school time programming to Buffalo high school students. The program is focused on helping students graduate high school, successfully transition to college or vocational training, and realize their full potential. This is accomplished through a uniquely designed curriculum, supported by guest speakers, campus field trips and community service opportunities. In addition, through a strong affiliation with Buffalo Employment Training Center’s (BETC) Summer Youth Program, the Program is able to provide participants with a 25-hour a week, six week summer job.

It Takes Compassion

Housing Services: Since 1989, YWCA WNY has provided housing and supportive service programming for homeless women, 18 years of age or older, and their children, with a focus on victims of domestic violence. Our fourteen housing units are scatter-sites located in the City of Buffalo and the Town of Amherst.

YWCA WNY’s Housing Services provides a safe environment for homeless women to gain the life skills necessary for a stable future, and to overcome the trauma and inter-related issues associated with domestic violence. Working in partnership with Matt Urban Hope Services and Catholic Charities of Buffalo, YWCA’s Housing Services provides rapid rehousing solutions that empowers women by providing stable housing and supportive services, working with clients to eliminate the barriers that prevent them from achieving self-sufficiency and securing stable housing, the primary goals for all program participants.

YWCA’s Housing Services provides comprehensive solutions for high need, high acuity homeless women and their families.

School House Commons Housing for Seniors: located at 1005 Grant Street Buffalo, NY 14207, School House Commons provides safe and secure housing for low-income seniors. Featuring 64 independent living apartment units, School House Commons is funded under the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Section 202 Housing of the Elderly. Through our partnership with Starbucks, YWCA WNY provides social activities for seniors on a regular basis. Through community collaborations, we continually work to expand the community outreach and support services offered to seniors living at School House Commons.   The YWCA contracts with Ciminelli Real Estate Corporation to provide day-to-day management of the residential units within the facility.


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