The YWCA is one of the oldest and largest women’s organizations in the nation, with 2.6 million members across 300 local associations.
The YWCA of Greater Portland has been serving the Portland community for over 110 years, while evolving to meet the changing needs of the women we serve.
Founded in 1901, the original focus of the YWCA was ensuring the safety and opportunity of young women migrating to Portland from rural America. This was achieved by facilitating their access to safe housing, employment, and wholesome activities.
Today the YWCA’s focus remains on empowering women and their families to achieve safety, opportunity, and independence. We work to transform our community by providing life-changing services and advocating for social change.
The following timeline provides an overview of the evolution of the YWCA since its original inception. Please visit Women and Social Movements in the United States 1901-2000 for a more comprehensive version of our history, as interpreted by Patricia A. Schechter with assistance from the Capstone Students of Portland State University (Spring 2002).