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Since 1912, the YWCA Charleston WV has been fulfilling its mission of eliminating racism and empowering women. Through our diverse and comprehensive network of social service programs, we serve our clients in many ways: shelter, case management, counseling, education, job training, child care/education and more.

In turn, the participants of our programs respond by mastering the qualities of self-sufficiency and independence—our success stories are many! 

Annually, we assist more than 10,000 individuals in Kanawha, Clay and Boone counties. By eliminating racism and empowering women, the YWCA creates peace, justice, freedom and dignity for the people of our communities.

our mission

The YWCA is dedicated to eliminating racism, empowering women and promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all.



Summit on Race Matters in Appalachia

The West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy is hosting the Summit on Race Matters in Appalachia on Nov. 10 and 11 in Charleston.

Monday, Nov. 10, 5-9 pm: Culture Center - State Capitol Complex

See "Cracking the Codes: Social Determinants of Racial Inequality."

Tuesday, Nov. 11, 8 am-5 pm: Four Points Sheraton - Downtown Charleston

Participate in workshop discussions about the movie.

The summit will offer a unique opportunity for people from throughout West Virginia to participate in a constructive, in-depth conversation about the complicated history of race relations and racial inequality in the state. Participants will examine the causes and consequences of structural inequities that exist across social, political, educational and financial systems and how those inequities negatively affect everyone. It will encourage strong leaders, working together, to commit themselves to building a community that improves the well-being of all West Virginians.

The event will also feature these keynote speakers:

  • Dr. Gail Christopher, Vice President for Policy and Senior Advisor, W.K. Kellogg Foundation
  • Mike Wenger, author of "My Black Family, My White Privilege" and senior fellow at the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies in Washington, DC
  • Dustin Washington, Director of the Community Justice Program with the American Friends Service Committee

Register for the event on the WV Center on Budget and Policy website.


28th Annual Thanksgiving Benefit Dinner

It’s right around the corner! Make your reservations now for a fantastic Thanksgiving feast — prepared by Wellington’s Catering and Café. Plan to enjoy delightful dinner music provided by the Trillium Piano Trio of Parkersburg and the good company of friends and supporters of YWCA Sojourner’s Shelter.

Get a group together to attend the 28th Annual Thanksgiving Benefit Dinner to Aid the Homeless -- Sunday, Nov. 9, 2014 from 12:30 to 2:30 pm at St. George Orthodox Cathedral, corner of Lee and Court St. in downtown Charleston.

Tickets are $30 each; children under 10 attend free and it’s a beautiful way to help the YWCA Sojourner’s Shelter for Homeless Women and Families. Special thank you to our sponsors: Wellington’s Catering and Café; Corey Brothers Produce; St. George Orthodox Cathedral and the City of Charleston.

Purchase tickets:
- stay on this site and go to “events” - through Nov. 6

- call 304.205.6044 - through Nov. 7

- at the door on Nov. 9

About YWCA Sojourner’s Shelter for Homeless Women and Families:

We serve homeless single women, women with children, men with custody of their children, veterans and intact families. Embracing a philosophy of empowering each individual, the ultimate goal of YWCA Sojourner’s many comprehensive services is to ensure that individuals achieve long-term self-sufficiency in order to prevent future homelessness – and it’s working! In the last fiscal year, Sojourner’s maintained a five percent return-to-shelter rate, which is well below the national average.

YWCA Sojourner’s Shelter provided nearly 20,700 nights of shelter for 890 homeless children and adults (unduplicated), including 246 children, 291 single mothers, 186 single women, 48 couples with children, 34 couples without children and 3 single fathers. We also provided more than 70,000 nutritious meals.

•    Crisis intervention and case management services
•    Referral services to link clients to community agencies
•    Outreach services for both residents and non-residents
•    Supportive counseling (substance abuse and mental health)
•    Housing opportunities and transportation assistance for work, appointments, etc.
•    Pre- and post-natal counseling and referrals
•    Children’s educational and enrichment programs, including computer classes, art classes, tutoring, drug-free education,       supportive counseling, field trips and Children’s Homeless Outreach Program (CHOP)
•    Education and Job Readiness Center, assisting participants through the education and career decision-making process. Some aspects of the program include job skills, GED preparation, computer classes, money management, self-esteem building and more.
 • Counseling and Case Management, providing 8,397 hours of case management, connecting homeless adults and children to community resources, housing, transportation and job training/education. Results include 85% of residents finding and maintaining housing.

For more information about YWCA Sojourner’s Shelter, contact Program Director Margaret Taylor at 304.340.3553.

Guys Night Out tickets available at the event

Guys Night Out tickets are no longer available via the website, but you can still attend the event.

Join us beginning at 1:30 pm Saturday, Oct. 25, at McJunkin Red Man headquarters, 835 Hillcrest Drive. Tickets are $75 and my be purchased at the registration tent.

Now in its ninth year, Guys Night Out is the largest tailgate party in Charleston. Come help us cheer on the Mountaineers to a victory over the Oklahoma State Cowboys.

Guys Night Out was created by guys who love football and who want to support the YWCA Sojourner’s Shelter. The funds raised at this event play a significant role in supporting homeless women, children and families in our community. The event is hosted by MRC and presented by Northside Automotive and BrickStreet Insurance.

YWCA Sojourner’s provides more than just shelter and meals for those without a home. We provide a comprehensive approach to promoting self-sufficiency through personalized case management that can include counseling, education and job training, access to resources and information about transportation.

Three 2015 Women of Achievement honorees selected

YWCA Charleston is pleased to announce three of the 2015 Women of Achievement. These women – Kitty Dooley, Sharon Flanery and Judy Wellington – were nominated by their community for their contributions to the Kanawha Valley and for their embodiment of the YWCA mission. A fourth honoree, the Empowerment Award winner, will be announced this winter.

Kitty Dooley, a coal miner’s daughter originally from Fairmont, decided to become an attorney at the age of 12. On the path to attaining that goal, she served in the United States Army, completing her military career as a Captain. As an attorney with her own practice in Charleston, Kitty has worked to better her community, and most recently completed 10 years of service as the Chair of the Board of Commissioners for the Charleston-Kanawha Housing Authority, where she spearheaded a $60 million effort to rebuild Charleston’s most depressed public housing. She has served with numerous organizations, including Children’s Home Society of West Virginia, the J.R. Clifford Project honoring West Virginia’s first black attorney, and the Kanawha Institute for Social Research and Action.

Sharon Flanery is one of the country’s leading lawyers in the field of energy, mining, natural resources, oil and gas law. As a petroleum engineer with both an operating and legal background in the energy industry, she brings real-world experience to her law practice as a member of the Executive Committee and leader of the Energy and Natural Resources Department at Steptoe & Johnson PLLC in Charleston. In her position, Sharon is active in supporting the professional development of women in the field, including participating in the Charleston Area Alliance’s Women in Energy forum. She is the recipient of the 2011 Best Lawyers Oil & Gas Lawyer of the Year award for the Charleston area and is recognized by The Best Lawyers in America® and Chambers USA as a leading lawyer in the field of natural resources.

Judith L. Wellington is the President and CEO of the Clay Center for the Arts and Sciences of West Virginia. Judy started her career as a research chemist after earning a Ph.D. in organic chemistry from Harvard University. She “ran away to the zoo” and while VP at the Philadelphia Zoo, quickly learned that a cultural institution can have a major impact on a city and, more importantly, can change the lives of the individuals it serves. Since then she has worked to integrate the cultural organizations she has led into the fabric of the community and has looked for ways to serve those most in need. Judy serves on the boards of the Charleston Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Arts Council of the Kanawha Valley and East End Main Street. She is on the Remake Learning Council in Pittsburgh, Pa.

Join us in celebrating these women whose work, passion, and vision help shape and lead our community. The 19th Annual Women Achievement Awards luncheon will be Friday, March 6, 2015 at Embassy Suites noon – 1:30PM.


Thanksgiving Benefit Dinner 2014
November 9th, 2014 - 12:30 pm