History in Nashville
For 114 years, the YWCA has helped women, girls and families in Nashville build safer, more self-sufficient lives. The professional staff and dedicated volunteers have monitored the challenges of social change, developing programs and services to meet the evolving needs of women and their families.
- In 1898, the Nashville YWCA was founded in three rooms over the Gartner and Maden Millinery Shop, 227 North Summer St. (now 5th Ave.)
- In 1909 the YWCA broke ground for a new YWCA building on Vine Street (7th Ave.) When the YWCA opened its new building, there were no integrated buildings in Nashville but the leadership of the YWCA was committed to extending programs to African American women.
- By 1921, the Blue Triangle Branch was formed for African American women and a building was purchased for their use.
- In the 1930's the depression made the YWCA a haven for women and girls. The women of this city went to the YWCA for recreation, diversion, welfare, food, physical education and training.
- In 1941 the Nashville YWCA mobilized to support the war through Red Cross drives, sewing, dances for soldiers and donating building space for defense work.
- In 1964 the Blue Triangle Branch and the Downtown YWCA became one interracial YWCA.
- In 1978 the Displaced Homemakers Program began for women who were entering or re-entering the workforce.
- In 1980, the YWCA opened the first Domestic Violence Shelter in Nashville. The YWCA has met the challenges of World War I and II, the Great Depression and adapted as Nashville woman faced each era.
To learn more about the history, read Women Helping Women: The YWCA of Nashville by Carole Stanford Bucy, available at the Metro Nashville Public Library.