• Facebook
  • Twitter
  • YouTube
  • Email




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.



Women of Achievement 2015: Meet the honorees

YWCA Charleston is pleased to announce the 2015 Women of Achievement. 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. Amy Thomas is the 10th annual YWCA Empowerment Award winner. This honor is awarded to a YWCA client who has overcome significant adversity through the services of one or more of our programs. We invite you to join us on Friday, March 6, 2015 from noon to 1:30 p.m. at Embassy Suites for the 19th Annual Women of Achievement luncheon in their honor. Tickets are available through the YWCA website or by calling 304.340.3557.

A coal miner’s daughter from Fairmont, Kitty Dooley decided to become an attorney at the age of 12. After completing her undergraduate degree in journalism at Marshall University in 1980 where she was an ROTC cadet, she served in the US Army for more than four years. She earned her Army parachutist badge while still a cadet and finished her military career as a captain. Kitty received a Juris Doctor degree from West Virginia University in 1990. As a private practice attorney in Charleston, Kitty has worked hard to better her community. As the Chair of the Board of Commissioners for the Charleston-Kanawha Housing Authority, she spearheaded a $60 million effort to rebuild Charleston’s most depressed public housing. She has also served with the 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. She is a member of the Mountain State Bar Association, Inc., the West Virginia and American Associations for Justice and the Charleston Branch of the NAACP.


Sharon Flanery is recognized by The Best Lawyers in America® and Chambers USA as being one of the country’s leading lawyers in the field of energy, mining, natural resources, and oil and gas law. Earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Petroleum Engineering from West Virginia University in 1978, she worked as a reservoir engineer in Appalachia and in Saudi Arabia before receiving a Juris Doctor degree from Duquesne University in 1991. As a petroleum engineer 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. Sharon actively supports the professional development of women in the field through the Charleston Area Alliance’s Women in Energy forum. She received the 2011 Best Lawyers Oil & Gas Lawyer of the Year award for the Charleston area.



Judith L. Wellington is the President and CEO of the Clay Center for the Arts and Sciences of West Virginia. After earning a Ph.D. in organic chemistry from Harvard University in1975, she went on to use the analytical and problem-solving skills of her science background in unique ways and in a variety of fields. Her work led her to the Philadelphia zoo, and later to the New Jersey Academy for Aquatic Sciences - operator of the New Jersey State Aquarium - where she served as President and CEO. Through this work, Judy 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. 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 an on the Advisory Board of the University of Charleston Business School, and the Advisory Council of the Pittsburgh Area Remake Learning Council.


Amy Thomas
is a graduate from South Charleston High and West Virginia State University. Amy was the office manager for the start-up Nextel in West Virginia for several years. Currently she is working toward a double major in criminal justice and social work from West Virginia State University. Upon graduation, her goal is to serve her community through law enforcement as a community advisor or victims advocate. Amy is a survivor. She spent more than 15 years in a physically and emotionally abusive relationship before finding YWCA’s Resolve Family Abuse program. Through Resolve, she received the support and advice she needed to become free from her abuser and to provide a safe environment for her two children. As a speaker, Amy has shared her store at the Domestic Violence Awareness Council’s Annual Gala, and at the YWCA 2014 White Hot Soiree. Her goal is to serve her community through law enforcement as a community advisor or victims advocate.

Poinsettia Sale benefits Sojourner's

Poinsettias are instant holiday décor! And when you decorate with the beautiful varieties available through Friends of Sojourner’s, you’ll be helping the YWCA Sojourner’s Shelter for Homeless Women and Families.

Order by Monday Nov. 24 by calling Carolyn Cummings at 304.340.3562, ext. 411 or emailing her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . Poinsettias will be delivered to the YWCA, 1114 Quarrier Street, on Dec. 1 or 2.

Choose from:
Red, white, pink or Marble Star
Small – 6” pot - $11
Medium – 8” pot - $17
Large – 10” pot - $22


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 too late to purchase tickets for the Thanksgiving Benefit Dinner, but you can still buy tickets at the door.

It's a fantastic Thanksgiving feast — prepared by Wellington’s Catering and Café. 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.

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.


Women of Achievement 2015
March 6th, 2015 - 12:00 pm