Caitlin Nelson • Executive Liaison, YWCA Greater Harrisburg

Editor’s Note: On the first Thursday of each month (or close to it), the eNews feature article highlights the mission focus for the month. In September we’re lifting up the Peace & Global Witness Offering, and YWCA Greater Harrisburg, the organization that will receive a portion of the funds collected through this special offering of the Presbyterian Church (USA).

The YWCA Greater Harrisburg’s vision of creating a just community for all began 130 years ago. As the role and the needs of women adapted over time. The YWCA has historically expanded its impact, becoming a driving force that transforms lives.

We embrace a cultural commitment to our core values, through our leadership staff and volunteers, exhibiting respect, accountability, and inclusiveness. We are dedicated to eliminating racism, empowering women, and promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all. 

Founded in 1883 to create a safe place for young working women to live and gather, the YWCA Greater Harrisburg focuses on five general program areas: 

  • Housing and homelessness
  • Violence intervention and prevention
  • Legal and family visitation
  • Children and youth
  • Employment readiness and support. 

In its 130-year history, the YWCA Greater Harrisburg has maintained its dedication to the provision of quality programs and services that meet the needs of women and families. Providing service to individuals living in Dauphin, Cumberland, and Perry Counties, the YWCA actively serves as an advocate and resource to the community. 

The YWCA is working as the crossroads of society’s most pressing issues. We are providing critical health and safety needs by housing and case managing hundreds of individuals who may otherwise end up in emergency rooms. We are providing court accompaniments, so our victims receive justice. We are operating a full-time daycare to provide individuals the ability to return to work.

We are doing this work through the lens of our vision, mission, and purpose. The YWCA is on a mission to eliminate racism and empower women. We work at the intersection of gender, race, age, ethnicity, and orientation.  

Today, we combine programming and advocacy to generate institutional, systemic and individual change, by impacting one life at a time.