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The YWCA has long advocated for the health and safety of women and girls. We pioneered the first safe residence and child care center in the nation. The YWCA is the largest provider of battered women’s shelters and domestic violence services in the country, serving over 500,000 women and children annually.

In 1885 a group of Syracuse women decided to create a local branch of the Young Women’s Christian Association to help young women who had moved to the city for work with safe, affordable housing. Additionally the Association offered a number of clubs, classes, social and cultural events.

We also advocated, as part of the National YWCA Organization, for labor laws to protect women and children and provided care for the children of young working mothers. Since 1868, the YWCA has provided early childcare programs. These childcare programs promote child development, while allowing parents to obtain and remain employment.

Today, the YWCA of Syracuse and Onondaga County, Inc. serves Syracuse youth ages 5 – 18 through two main programs: Girls Inc. at YWCA of Syracuse & Onondaga County, Inc., and YWCA Youth Soccer. These youth leadership and development programs support youth at home, school, and in the community through free and low-cost programs centered around life skills development as a pathway to success.

Our dedicated staff are invested in supporting girls and boys through fun, curriculum-based opportunities that allow them to learn, grow, and develop supportive relationships in consistent, encouraging settings.

Girls Inc. at YWCA focuses on girls ages 5 – 18, while our YWCA Youth Soccer Programs offer opportunities for boys and girls. Soccer for Success engages elementary school-age children in introductory/beginner level soccer skill development and social-emotional learning. Syracuse City FC is an innovative program that seeks to combine public/private resources to create high-quality youth development program focusing on areas of leadership and mentorship, academic support, and soccer.

These programs support youth and families with skill development that can be applied at home, school, and in the community for better outcomes.