The YWCA of Queens was founded in 1978 in response to the needs of the rapidly growing Asian immigrant community when a “latch key” child caused a kitchen fire, confirming the need for a community after school program. Nine women from the YWCA of Korea, some of whom were previous volunteers and staff, joined forces to help young parents care for their children as they adjusted to the new ways of life. Their hope was to provide child care while parents and other able workers of the families focused on finding jobs and running their businesses. A few months after the start of the after school program, the YW recognized new needs emerging. The lack of programs for seniors led to the development of the Evergreen School, the first recreational and educational activities center for Korean-American seniors in New York City where seniors were given supportive services to adapt to their new environment (e.g., ESL, civics and culture of America).
Today the YWCA of Queens offers comprehensive multi-generational and cross-cultural services that promote economic and personal well-being through five centers: the Center for Education & Career Services, the Center for Social Services, the Center for Seniors, the Center for Afterschool, and Y Evergreen Care. Encompassing the five boroughs, Westchester, and Long Island, the YWCA offers services to members and participants ages 12 to 90 that come from all walks of life and speak a plethora of languages including Korean, Cantonese, Mandarin, Japanese, Spanish, Arabic, Farsi, Tagalog, Hindi, and Urdu. We play a critical role in providing comprehensive services to more than 6,000 families every year, addressing the needs of each individual, family, and the community. Well established core programs such as ESOL, HSE preparation, afterschool, and workforce development programs continue to be reliable and crucial community assets. Focusing on education, employment, social services, and holistic wellness, we will continue to expand our services to accommodate the changing demographics of the community.