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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.