|Since 1976 the YWCA Women’s Crisis Center has successfully been providing shelter, advocacy, and supportive services for women and children fleeing violent homes.
Each year the YWCA shelter houses hundreds of women and children. The YWCA provides safe/confidential housing, basic needs, advocacy, crisis and supportive counseling, domestic violence education, parenting, support groups, agency referrals, and a children’s program.
(316) 267-SAFE (7233)
The YWCA Women's Crisis Center was founded in 1976 as the result of a study conducted in Wichita by a task force of women who recognized the need for such a facility. Several of the women were from the Commission on the Status of Women while others represented the community at large.
This task force documented the need for residential shelter for battered and destitute women. After extensive research, they wrote the background proposal for the Center, called the Wichita Women's Center. The proposal was unanimously approved by the Commission on the Status of Women and then presented to the City and other appropriate agencies.
Although incorporation was considered, it was decided that an already established agency needed to sponsor the project. The YWCA agreed to serve in this capacity, taking responsibility for the efficient administration and money management of the shelter. After several months of searching, first year funding of $25,000 was secured through the Community Action Agency. The first director was employed in June and the shelter opened on August 18, 1976.
Many changes have occurred since the Center first opened. The original proposal was for the care of five residents, but demands for space became so great that bed space was increased to house 12 women and children. In late 1977, it became obvious that the overwhelming need was to serve abused women. At this time, it was decided abused women would be the sole priority of the facility
In January of 1980, the original shelter was sold. In late 1980, after much searching, the YWCA Board of Directors was given a Victorian house, in need of repair, in the Midtown area. Twenty-four women and children were housed in the new shelter. By April of 2000, the older and out-dated house was sold and the shelter moved to the present-day confidential location that can serve over 30 women and their children. There are many barriers to prevent battered women from escaping abuse - lack of money, resources, and support. The YWCA Women's Crisis Center provides women and children fleeing violent homes with safe shelter and the supportive services needed to establish and maintain a violence free life.