History

Empowering the Women & Families of northwest Oklahoma since1920

1855 – Young Women's Christian Association was formed in London by Emma Robarts and Mrs. Arthur Kinnaird.

1858 – The YWCA movement was introduced to the United States. New York City and Boston opened women's residences.

1860 – The YWCA opened the first boarding house for female students, teachers and factory workers in New York City as women moved from farms to cities.

1890s – First African American YWCA branch opened in Dayton, Ohio. First YWCA for Native American women opened in Oklahoma.

1894 – The United States American Committee, England, Sweden and Norway joined together to create the World YWCA.

1915 – YWCA held the first interracial conference in the south, at Louisville, Kentucky.

1920 - YWCA Enid is established.

  • Organized the first interracial programs in Garfield County
  • Initiated the first gymnastics and swimming program for girls
  • Founding member of the original Community Chest

1940s-1960s

  • A leader in USO activities during World War II
  • Provided the first supervised housing for girls in Garfield County
  • Organized the first Business & Professional Women’s Club
  • Held the first public dance for working women

1970 - Organized the first Elementary Track and Field Meet for area youth

1972 – YWCA Enid begins honoring woman in the community who have made a significant impact through volunteerism, philanthropy and community involvement. The Woman of the Year is awarded based on nominations from community members. (For a complete list of the Woman of the Year awards, click here)

1977

  • Founding member of the Oklahoma Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault
  • The first Children’s Christmas Sale is held as a way for children to shop for family Christmas gifts at affordable prices

1978 - Formed the YWCA’s Battered Women’s Task Force to conduct a citywide needs assessment. Assessment identifies the number one need for a battered woman is shelter.

1979 -The YWCA Option House shelter for battered women opens in residential home in Enid. It is the first program in the state to open specifically for battered women and their children. The community works to furnish the home which is run mostly by volunteers.

1980 - Option House receives a $20,000 grant from the Department of Mental Health. Shelter staff assist the department in writing the first standards and criteria for domestic violence programs in Oklahoma.

1981 - Option House begins offering services to victims of sexual abuse including crisis intervention, counseling, court advocacy, and rape response at local hospitals.

1982 - Option House moves to an 11-bedroom shelter facility, which was the largest in the state at that time. YWCA offices are moved to the current location at 525 S. Quincy, across from Integris Bass Baptist Hospital.

1991 - Option House changes its name to Crisis Center to reflect the programs expanding services to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault.

1995 – Pooh’s Corner opens, providing the first 18-hour developmental childcare program in Enid.

1998 - YWCA Enid opens a Halfway House for low-income women who have recently completed drug and alcohol treatment and who also have children.

2002 - YWCA board and staff begin preliminary planning to add 10,000 square feet to the Crisis Center, Halfway House and daycare facility
The first Girl Power Rally is held

2003

  • YWCA Enid launches its capital campaign to raise $565,000 for facility expansion plans and updates to electrical and plumbing.
  • By June, more than $600,000 is raised, which qualifies the YWCA for a $2.7 million matching grant from the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation for renovation and expansion

2005

  • A newly renovated and expanded YWCA officially opens!
  • Pooh’s Corner changes its name to the Children’s Learning Center

2006 – To address the national Hallmark Program of Racial Justice, the YWCA begins the Stop Racism & Prejudice Youth Challenge. Designed for school-aged children, the challenge requires students to think creatively about ways they can make an impact in their community.