The YWCA is the oldest and largest multicultural women’s organization in the world. Across the globe, we have more than 25 million members in 122 countries, including 2 million members in 300 local associations in the United States.
Throughout our history the YWCA has been in the forefront of most major movements in the United States as a pioneer in race relations, labor union representation, and the empowerment of women.
The YWCA of Bellingham was founded in 1907. The Larrabee family built the current North Forest YWCA in 1915. The YWCA has provided safe, affordable housing to women, recreation and health opportunities as well as specialized education and training, leadership development and other services to generations of women and their families.
The YWCA Bellingham adopted the following Vision Statement in 1991 to guide its work locally:
The YWCA of Bellingham, as part of the Whatcom County Community, works to promote empowerment of women and girls of all ages, backgrounds, races, and faiths, and to advance their quality of life. Through programs, services and advocacy, the agency addresses issues of housing, basic needs, health and safety, education, discrimination and racial justice. The YWCA coordinates and cooperates with other community service providers to ensure effective use of resources and to anticipate and respond to change.