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100Th Anniversary Of The Ywca Of San Diego County

Sen. Barbara Boxer

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Mr. President, I ask my colleagues to recognize the 100th anniversary of the YWCA of San Diego County. On Tuesday, March 11, 2008, YWCA of San Diego County and community members will gather to celebrate this momentous occasion.

The YWCA is the largest and oldest multicultural women's organization in the world. The YWCA was formed in 1855 in London by Emma Robarts and Mrs. Arthur Kinnaird. The YWCA later expanded to the United States in 1858 in New York and Boston. Today it serves as the largest organization dedicated to empowering women and provide an important voice for women at local, state, and international levels. YWCA of San Diego County is one of 300 local associations in the United States.

YWCA of San Diego County was formally incorporated in 1908. For the past 100 years, YWCA has been a champion in the community on behalf of women and families who escape homelessness and domestic violence. The mission of YWCA ``is to increase safety, promote healing, foster empowerment, and give hope to women and families through innovative programs'' and services.

The dedication of the YWCA to its mission is displayed through the programs and services that the YWCA provides. These programs and services include residential programs like transitional housing and emergency shelter, legal support, career assistance, counseling, and a telephone hotline. All of these programs are designed to support the needs of women and families coping with domestic violence and homelessness.

Through a variety of programs such as Becky's House emergency shelter the YWCA of San Diego County is able to offer confidential, transitional housing for victims of domestic violence and their children. Various services like, legal assistance and counseling is provided to the residents of the emergency shelter. After the residents complete a 30 day stay at the shelter they are given the opportunity to complete an 18-month residential program at Becky's House. This program provides legal assistance, educational and career counseling, case management, and educational and play activities for the children of the women in the program.

More than 70 percent of the 2,000 individuals the YWCA of San Diego County serve each year are able to obtain employment and permanent housing, so that the individual can sustain a secure, independent way of life.

YWCA of San Diego County has set a wonderful example of philanthropy, civic service, and altruism for the community at large. Organizations such as the YWCA should be recognized for the critical role they play in strengthening women and families in California and the United States of America. I salute the men and women of YWCA for their continuous commitment to the betterment of women and families in crisis and efforts to enrich the broader San Diego community.

I congratulate the YWCA of San Diego County on the celebration of its 100th anniversary. I wish them continued success.