Increasing numbers of women and children in Missoula are experiencing or witnessing violence in their homes. Hundreds of individuals and families are also living in inadequate or substandard housing, while some have no homes at all. YWCA Missoula believes that everyone has the right to a life free of violence and that every person is entitled to safe and decent housing. We are determined to create a community where all people, regardless of gender or race, have opportunities for growth, leadership and power.

This year, YWCA Missoula celebrates 100 years responding to the emerging issues facing women in the community. It is through this rich history filled with compassion and dedication to families in Missoula that we are able to continue our mission eliminating racism, empowering women and promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all people in our community.

Recent News

Brown Bag Lunch Series: Health Care Services and Its Impact on Women

Bring your lunch and an open mind!

Kim Mansch, executive director of Partnership Health Center in Missoula, will discuss women’s health and her experiences working in community health centers on Friday, Feb. 17, from noon to 1 p.m. at YWCA Missoula. The discussion is part of the YWCA’s Brown Bag Lunch Series.

“Community health centers, such as Partnership Health Center, are ideal for women and their families to receive care,” Mansch said. “Our patient-centered medical home model allows us to take care of all of our patients’ needs, including medical, dental, behavioral health, cancer screening and care management services.”

The Brown Bag Lunch Series is a component of YWCA Missoula’s Women’s Economic Advancement initiative focusing on women’s leadership. Each season, which follows the academic calendar, explores topics that impact women.

For more information about the Brown Bag Series, contact Michelle Williamson at 543-6691 or mwilliamson@ywcaofmissoula.org.

Secret Seconds Half Off Sale Feb. 3 and 4: Your dollars change lives!

Did you know that just $10 spent at our Secret Seconds thrift stores equals 11 bus passes for women in our shelter? $25 equals one whole month of diapers and $50 amounts to one night of shelter for a family fleeing abuse. This is how you make a difference when you shop at Secret Seconds.

This Friday and Saturday, help women and children in need AND save big when all clothing, shoes and accessories are HALF OFF at Secret Seconds thrift stores.

All sales benefit YWCA Missoula programs and services, including a safe domestic violence shelter and 24-hour crisis line; transitional and emergency housing for homeless families; and the GUTS (Girls Using Their Strengths)! leadership program for girls ages 9-18.

Stores are located at 920 Kensington and 1136 W. Broadway and are open 10-6.

Shop. Save. Make a Difference.

Deadline extended: Secret Seconds is hiring!

The deadline has been extended to Friday, Feb. 10 for applications seeking to work as a Store Clerk for our two Secret Seconds thrift stores, which provide 30 percent of our income to help women and children in crisis.

The person in this position assists with all aspects of dealing with merchandise and customers in a thrift store setting, including waiting on customers, receiving donations, sorting and tagging. Outstanding customer service skills, high school diploma and valid Montana driver's license required. Performance of duties reflects the YWCA value that all human beings will be treated with respect and dignity and approached with recognition of their individual importance.

Click here to download full job description and application. Drop off resume and application or send to 1130 W. Broadway Missoula, MT 59802, ATTN: Sally or email to smullen@ywcaofmissoula.org.

Global Social Work - Women's Empowerment in India

Bring your lunch and an open mind!

Chaitanya, a nonprofit organization in India, is changing women’s lives. The organization’s vision is to create a society that values gender equality and self-reliance, where women have access to and control over financial and other resources. Katharina Werner, YWCA Pathways shelter coordinator, will discuss her recent experiences working toward women’s empowerment with Chaitanya on Friday, Jan. 20, from noon to 1 p.m. at YWCA Missoula as part of YWCA Missoula’s Brown Bag Lunch Series.

“Violence against women is a worldwide issue, and global social justice work is a core part of the social work profession,” Werner said. “In the age of globalization, social justice work challenges us to expand our thinking, critically reflect on questions of power, inequality, and oppression, and view the world as a system of interdependent parts.”

Girls 14 – 18 encouraged to LEAD through GUTS! program

The YWCA Missoula is seeking school counselors, educators, parents and community members to nominate fabulous young women to participate in a high-school girls’ leadership program. The nomination deadline for the Young Women LEAD Project is Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2011. There is no cost to participate. Girls must be between the ages of 14 and 18 and willing to attend eight two-hour seminars, as well as participate in a community service project.

The girls will meet some amazing young women and community members while learning to find balance in life, self-care, goal-setting, and identifying their inner strengths and values. They will also have the opportunity to attend the “Girls For A Change” conference in Bozeman, Mont., this spring.

“The LEAD program is something that I can honestly say got me back on my feet,” said 17-year-old Hillary Martin, who participated in the program in 2009. “The simple fact that I was nominated to be a part of this made me feel like I had something special to offer.”

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