YWCA celebrates new Downtown home

By Caitlin Eichelberger

The YWCA of the city of New York celebrated the opening of its new headquarters in Lower Manhattan Wednesday. Decked out in the organization’s signature color — persimmon — children from the YWCA’s early learning center in Clinton assisted in the ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Rennie Roberts, YWCA C.E.O., highlighted the organization’s new family resource centers, which will be established throughout all boroughs for parents and children to work together, for jobseekers to receive training, and for all other community services suitable for the area. The first center is set to open in January in Hell’s Kitchen. The organization would like to establish a center Downtown as well, once it becomes more familiar with their new neighborhood.

“We’re trying to understand — working with the state senator and with [City Councilmember] Alan Gerson — is what is needed down here, because then we can see how we can fulfill those needs… I think we first have to get that [Clinton family resource center] model perfected, and also have to know a lot more about Lower Manhattan.”

Brewer anticipates an even brighter future for the YWCA’s programming in its new home.

“I’m delighted that there’s a new building in Downtown Manhattan and that the programming, which is so important, will go on in an even stronger force in the five boroughs,” she said.

The 147 year-old organization moved into its new home in the United Federation of Teachers building at 52 Broadway early this summer. Their offices occupy the entire fourth floor with 100 workers. Their previous location at 610 Lexington Ave. had been the YWCA’s home for nearly a century, but wear and tear to the aging building prompted the organization to sell earlier this year.

YWCA is happy to be located in a “real community” rather than a “commuter haven,” Roberts said. “It really is a different feeling here.”

— Caitlin Eichelberger

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