History

Established in Tacoma in 1906, YWCA Pierce County has devoted over a century to creating opportunity and safety for adults and children in the greater Tacoma community. After opening Washington State’s first emergency shelter for victims of domestic violence in 1976, YWCA became a forerunner in the domestic violence service provision field.

As an inclusionary non-profit organization, YWCA Pierce County provides assistance to survivors of domestic violence and their children. All survivors are welcome regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, gender identity or expression, religion, or sexual orientation. Bilingual staff and interpretation services eliminate language barriers and ease transitions for all of our clients. The YWCA serves over 15,000 adults and children annually, who are seeking help due to domestic violence.

YWCA Pierce County is dedicated to transforming lives through safety, healing, and empowerment.


Women from 1906 charter of YWCA in Tacoma holding YWCA banners
Women from 1906 charter of YWCA in Tacoma holding YWCA banners.

YWCA National Mission: 
YWCA is dedicated to eliminating racism, empowering women and promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all.

It’s Time Campaign
In December of 2008, YWCA’s board voted to purchase a new building to move the cramped, outdated emergency shelter. In the midst of an economic recession, the Board acted boldly to meet the needs of YWCA clients and launched a $5 million dollar campaign to purchase, renovate, and sustain the new building.

The campaign concluded in October 2010, the result of over 500 donors joining forces to support survivors and their children. This new space offers individual apartments to families YWCA harbors. It offers private kitchens and bathrooms in each unit, and more space for kids, pets, and adults as they heal. It offers 25 more beds, an increase of 50%.

To see the beautiful and uniquely renovated apartments designed by local interior designers, please click here.


Front facing view of YWCA safe shelter.
YWCA Safe Shelter which was renovated to create apartment-style
spaces for families to heal in safe and beautiful spaces.

Encore Campaign
After a successful campaign to move our domestic violence shelter to a beautiful new home, the YWCA decided it was time to focus on the two vacant floors where the shelter once existed. The Encore Campaign provided funds to completely renovate the two floors, turning them into beautiful office spaces and a colorful and playful children’s floor.

Our legal services floor is now professional, crisp and beautiful- a vast improvement from the previous space.  Each advocate has his or her own office to meet and work with clients in a private space.

The children’s program now boasts a Pacific Northwest inspired mural that extends throughout the entire floor on every wall and even extends up on the ceiling in places! There are large spaces designated for children by age group with furniture and toys suited for them. To see the new children’s floor, click here.