Tonawanda News — And while the local YWCA has evolved over that time to reflect what Western New York residents need most, its roots have always been centered on bettering the lives of women and children through education and support, she said, noting that what began as a community center and cafeteria for the poor, moved on to a boarding house for women and now encompasses a slew of programs is deeply embedded in the culture of the Tonawandas.
“We want to meet the needs of the community, which are always changing,” she said. “And we want to be around for the next round of challenges the community faces.”
That point was also made clear by Debby Schnitzer, domestic violence coordinator, who said when the holidays roll around the YWCA sees an uptick in women and children seeking helping.
“There’s an increase in anxiety, an increase in depression,” she said. “They are at a place where they’re being beaten and they’re at a loss. I just can’t even comprehend what would happen to the families in the community if there was no YWCA. We service so many people and we’re not really great at publicizing that because we’re so busy doing it.”