YWCA Delaware – Eliminating Racism, Empowering Women and Enriching Families


At the YWCA Delaware lives are changed.  Women and their families find safe and secure housing at the Home Life Management Center on Madison Street in Wilmington.  At the Delaware Center for Women’s Entrepreneurship in Newark, courses and counseling are offered to help women start a business, buy a home and manage personal finances so they can take control of their futures.  Eliminating the scourge of racism is also part of YWCA Delaware’s mission. Martin Luther King events, action forums and discussion groups focus on ending racial disparity in our community. In addition, YWCA Delaware sponsors youth groups and is developing a sexual assault crisis intervention program.

Success by the numbers:

In 2014, 167 people were served at the Home Life Management Center representing 54 families, including 109 children.  Over 70 percent of women contacted as the result of domestic violence screenings benefited from interventions either in person or over the phone.

Recently, two theaters packed to capacity — close to 500 people — were needed at the Penn Cinema for an advanced screening of Selma, a preview sponsored by YWCA Delaware and other community organizations; 300 people remained after the showing for a panel discussion on the film.

But, our success stories are the best way to explain the life-changing work of the YWCA:

Della is Determined

Della was relieved to move into YWCA Delaware’s Home Life Management Center, She needed safe, secure housing after her grandmother died and she found herself dealing with the stress of caring for her two sons on her own. Early in the program, she disclosed that she was the victim of domestic violence and was emotionally traumatized by an unhealthy relationship. Della was determined to take advantage of YWCA Delaware’s services and deal with the past to achieve a secure future for herself and her children. She met with the contractual therapist at Home LIfe to confront emotional issues, especially the death of her grandmother. She pushed forward with a positive attitude. 

After a discouraging employment search, Della enrolled in a program facilitated by The Hospitality School, a partnership that was temporarily housed at Home Life. This 12-week culinary training program offered internship and employment placements. Della completed the program and received numerous awards at The Hospitality School’s graduation ceremony. Her hard work resulted in a full-time job with the Clarion Hotel in New Castle. Meeting her budget and savings goals and without requiring government assistance, Della and her family moved into their new home in April of 2014.

Susan Changes Homeless into Hope

Susan, destitute and homeless in New York City, moved to Delaware to stay with a relative and her three children. Due to continuing conflict, she was forced to move out of this temporary refuge and found security at YWCA Home Life Management Center. The HLMC also provided Susan with opportunity. She enrolled in a medical training program, excelled in her course and was offered employment. Happily living in her own apartment with her family, Susan continues to use the tools she took away from her hard work at YWCA Delaware. She manages her money, saves and is realizing her goals for herself and her children.

Gloria Dumps the Debt

Gloria came to the YWCA intending to give her home back to the bank. Emotionally drained and overwhelmed with the financial burden, she felt that her only option was to walk away from her two mortgages. Her lender gave her bad advice and she was confronted with a first and second lien on her property. 

The YWCA counselors presented Gloria with some viable options, but she remained determined to move out and dump the debt. For six months Gloria and her counselor worked with her bank and spent many productive hours creating a budget. Understanding the expense of moving into a rental, Gloria began to consider the possibility of staying in her home. The bank offered her a modified loan that made her first mortgage payment affordable and additionally the bank reduced the second lien to a manageable lump sum payment and reduced her monthly mortgage payment. As a bonus, Gloria is now putting a small surplus into a savings account each month.

The YWCA, with support from generous individual and corporate donors and grants, changes lives every day in Delaware.  Success, however, is a partnership.  The YWCA offers opportunity and the client must grab this “hand up” and work hard to reach her goals.

To learn more about YWCA Delaware, please visit www.ywcade.org.