110 Years: A Legacy of Compassion
Chris Davis, Communications Manager
The WCA has been an important community partner for 110 years. In 1910, the population of Boise was over 17,000 people and the city was a thriving commercial center with many opportunities for female workers. The WCA played a part in this important point in history. Originally started as the YWCA by nine pioneering women, it offered safe housing for women drawn from rural areas to Boise for work.
Over the years, the YWCA adapted to meet the needs of the community and provided educational, job skills and social activities, space for club meetings, exercise classes, youth programs, summer camp, Easter Egg hunts, dances, childcare, job skills training and other activities. Other community organizations provided much needed space for these activities until the new Washington Street building was completed in 1940. The WCA is thrilled to still be serving the community at Washington Street today in 2020.
In the early 1980s, the YWCA began transforming into the organization that we have today. During this time, the Rape Crisis Alliance and domestic violence Crisis Center were established to continue embodying the mission to provide a safe place for women in new ways. In 1996, we officially became the Women’s and Children’s Alliance.
Our services are provided at no-cost, and span a four-county service area representing 30 percent of the population of the state of Idaho. Since its founding, the WCA’s crisis program has evolved into one of the most vital, unduplicated, comprehensive programs in our community and region.
The WCA also offers education and outreach through school prevention programming, community presentations and “If These Walls Could Talk,” which are one-hour tours where participants learn about the prevalence of domestic abuse and sexual assault and ways to get involved. The WCA has a very active volunteer program with one-time and ongoing opportunities for individuals and groups.
Our mission of safety healing and freedom from domestic abuse and sexual assault is what we do. Our vision—to foster a community where individuals thrive in safe, healthy relationships— is why we do it.
The Compassion Project: Let us be the ones who transform our world by allowing compassion to lead our action. Throughout the year, this column will feature the various ways to have compassion for others, for our specific organization, and for yourself.
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