Learn a bit more about how the oldest YWCA in the south became the YWCA Richmond we are today, with this brief look at our history:


YWCA Richmond was conceived in a parlor meeting of eight women on May 16, 1887


Opened a boarding home, which would accommodate 19 young women moving to Richmond for factory work


Opened day nursery to care for children while their mothers worked in local factories


Phyllis Wheatley Branch opened, one of the country’s first African-American branches


Began construction of the YWCA facility on 5th Street; the building was designed for programs focusing on residence and physical fitness


Assisted in starting the Southern Commission on Interracial Cooperation


All programs became fully integrated.


Started a sexual assault center, one of the first in Virginia; it operates today as Richmond’s only 24-Hour sexual assault center; Opened the first shelter for battered women in Richmond


Opened the first shelter for battered women in Chesterfield initiated the first and only preschool program for homeless children in Richmond


Eliminated health and fitness programs to concentrate on three focus areas: domestic violence, sexual violence, and early childhood education


Raised more than $4 million through the Rebuilding Hope Capital Campaign to renovate the Richmond domestic violence shelter and the historic 5th Street building


Child Development Center became one of only a few nonprofit centers certified by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC).


YWCA Richmond celebrated its 120th Anniversary


Opened a second year-round, full-day Child Development Center site within the Chippenham Place apartment community; Celebrated the retirement of Cathy Pond who served as Executive Director for 15 years.


Started the Regional Hospital Accompaniment Response Team (R-HART) program in collaboration with Safe Harbor and Hanover Safe Place to serve MCV and Bon Secours Health Systems


Implementation of new strategic plan and change in housing model to transitional housing


Celebrated 120 years of providing childcare to Richmond


Welcomed Linda S.Tissiere as Chief Executive Officer and celebrated our 125th Anniversary


Awarded $100,000 Impact100 grant to launch the Rapid Rehousing Transformation Project, in conjunction with emergency services for victims of domestic violence and sexual violence.  With this funding, we were able to implement a new Emergency Safe Housing Model in partnership with the Better Housing Coalition, which features private apartments for survivors and their families instead of one communal shelter space.


  • Introduced the Pat Asch Fellowship for Social Justice
  • Launched the Greater Richmond Regional Hotline in collaboration with Project Hope @ Quin Rivers, Inc.Hanover Safe Place, Safe Harbor RVA and The James House. (now Goochland Free Clinic, as well)
  • Launched our new Strategic plan “Creating New Paths” that focuses on sustainable business models, expanded reach and impact, and collaborative strategic partnerships


  • Celebrated 35th Anniversary of the Outstanding Women Awards.
  • Awarded first ever recipient of the Pat Asch Fellowship for Social Justice, Cheryl Groce-Wright.
  • Greater Richmond Regional Hotline is awarded the 2015 Innovation in Homeless Service award from Homeward at their 9th Annual Regional Conference on Best Practices to Prevent and End Homelessness.