YWCA of the Greater Capital Region, Inc. is dedicated to eliminating racism, empowering women and promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all.

About YWCA

Women come to YWCA-GCR in times of crisis, for safe and affordable housing, help with basic needs, such as food and clothing, victim advocacy, help with addiction, job training and career counseling, and case management. Some stay for just a few weeks, some for many years. We give women and women with children a second chance and a fresh start, by providing transitional and permanent housing combined with 360° of Support in order to empower them to be able to achieve their goals and to become self-sufficient. YWCA-GCR staff can coordinate a variety of supportive services, such as financial literacy, job readiness training, education development and TASC preparation, clothing, food and make referrals for mental health, chemical addiction treatment, and advocacy.

Not all the residents’ need all of the available supportive services, but there is one thing that every single woman receives: HOPEOur supportive services are available to and are utilized by community members through My Sister’s Closet, Jamison-Rounds Ready for Work Employment Training Program, Jamison-Rounds Ready for School Program, our Food Pantry and Weekly Community Meal.  In addition, we provide Homeless Prevention and case management services to Rensselaer County residents facing eviction.



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.

January 1883

Founding of the Troy Young Women’s Association


First YWA Rooms in Keenan Building at Third and Broadway.


YWA moves to rooms over Manufacturer’s Bank, River and King Streets.


Collar laundresses Strike.


YWA moves to 43 Fourth Street.


Troy Centennial celebration in January.


Building of the Young Women’s Association building at 33 Second Street.


Hart Memorial Library (Troy Public Library) built by Mary Lane Hart and others.


Spanish American War.


The YWCA of USA formed from the International Board of Women’s & Young Women’s Christian Associations and the American Committee.

December 1907

The YWA’s 25th Anniversary. The Annual Report notes “Those who inspired and commenced this work in a room of the Keenan building a quarter of a century ago did not conceive of this home, its library, its restaurant. We greatly desire…to become an educational center for the women behind the machine and the woman in the home who will have a large part in the molding of our future citizenship…In imagination we see…rooms for enlarged class work in keeping with modern demands and methods, a gymnasium for the physical development of our growing girls and future mothers…We want the women of Troy to feel that this is woman’s work for woman.”


Women’s Suffrage Amendment defeated.


Troy Young Women’s Association joins the national YWCA.


United States enters World War I.


Women’s Suffrage Amendment defeated in Rensselaer County, but wins elsewhere.

April 28, 1917

Cornerstone laid for new Troy YWCA building at 21 First Street.

May 9, 1918

Dedication of new Central Young Women’s Christian Association Building.

Fall 1918

Influenza epidemic impacts all aspects of life.


Federal Women’s Suffrage Amendment passes.


Julia Howard Bush, Nellie Cluett and Louise Cluett Cowee purchased the land for Camp Yowochas.

circa 1925

Camp Yowochas founded on White Lily Pond in Grafton.


Great Depression begins.


United States enters World War II.


YWCA acquires buildings to south and demolishes them for a parking lot.


Luncheon in honor of Dorretta Ferber and her involvement with Camp Yowochas.


First capital campaign for building and Camp Yowochas improvements.


Last passenger train leaves Troy Union Station.


Cohoes YWCA merges with Troy YWCA in one of first such arrangements. Programs continue in Cohoes until 1980s.


New Troy City Hall dedicated.

Mid 1970s

Camp Yowochas closes.


United States celebrates its Bicentennial.


Handicapped accessibility at YWCA building.


Troy-Cohoes YWCA celebrates 100th anniversary.


Kiddie Korral opens at the YWCA.


YWCA Day Care Center established.


Ninety Women for the Nineties membership group established to support the mission of the YWCA. A capital campaign begins.


HHAP Grant of $1.4 million for rehab of residences plus HUD Small Cities Grant of $500,000, City of Troy Rental Rehab Grant of $180,000 and Federal Home Loan Bank of NY Grant of $518,583 updates and improves facility for new millennium.


A new century begins. In the Company of Women membership group is formed to support the YWCA’s mission and programs.


Sally Catlin Resource Center opens, honoring long-time YW Board member, president and community leader, Sally Catlin. The Center provides the “tools to craft the lives women want for themselves.”

2006 and Beyond…


Building renovation begins and is completed in 2008.


YWCA of Troy-Cohoes celebrates its’ 125th Anniversary


Name of YWCA of Troy and Cohoes becomes YWCA of Greater Capital Region (proudly founded in Troy, NY)


YWCA holds its’ first Resourceful Women’s Luncheon



The World YWCA is a global network of women leading social and economic change in over 120 countries worldwide. The World YWCA advocates for peace, justice, human rights and care for the environment and has been at the forefront of raising the status of women for more than a century. The World YWCA develops women’s leadership to find local solutions to the global inequalities women face.

Each year, it reaches more than 25 million women and girls through work in over 20,000 communities. Through advocacy, training and development the World YWCA empowers women, including young women, to lead social change. It is a volunteer membership movement inclusive of women from many faiths, backgrounds, and cultures. The World YWCA affirms that women’s human rights are universal, indivisible, interdependent and interrelated.

Strategic Framework - A quadrennial plan adopted at the World Council 2012-2015 plan goals:

  1. Women, young women and girls exercise leadership in our lives and communities and advocate for our rights.

  2. The social, economic, cultural, civil and political rights of women, young women and girls are promoted and protected through advocacy, programs and services.

  3. World YWCA movement effectively fulfills its purpose to develop the leadership of women and girls by functioning at the highest level of organizational accountability

The World YWCA reaches out to women all around the world. To find out more, visit www.worldywca.org.


  • Starletta Smith, Interim Executive Director

  • Bonnie Benson, Director, Housing & Supportive Programs

  • Virginia Marinello, Director of Finance

  • Ellen Randolph, Director of Operations

  • Lisa Hotte, Interim Director of Transitional Housing and Family Services

  • Jamie Crouse, Director of Marketing & Development

  • Jacqueline Weaver, Supportive Program Administrator

  • Shara Branon-Bender, Homeless Prevention Coordinator

  • Mary Milone, Housekeeper

  • Priscilla Milligan, Housekeeper

  • Rick Rivera, Maintenance Technician

  • Aimee Talavera, JR-RFW Employment Education Instructor

  • Amanda Hubbard, Housing Coordinator

  • Angelina Jones, Housing Coordinator

  • Elizabeth Haller, Finance Assistant

  • Ejah M. Gay, Front Desk Receptionist

  • Barbara Humphreys, Front Desk Receptionist

  • Chelsea Bunn, Front Desk Receptionist

  • Joan Nimer, Front Desk Receptionist

  • Bessie Mabee, Housekeeper

  • Tameika Greene, Front Desk Receptionist

  • Patricia Rand, Front Desk Receptionist

  • Felycia Tunstall, Front Desk Receptionist

  • Tataichi Tate, Front Desk Receptionist

  • Scharlette Wilkins, Front Desk Receptionist

  • Dana Brighton, Front Desk Receptionist

  • Sandra Winnie, Front Desk Receptionist

All staff can be reached at (518) 274-7100. Some of our staff may be reached directly by email by clicking on their name. If a personal email is not available, please send a message to info@ywca-gcr.org with the staff member's name in the subject line.


Bridget McGivern, Chair

St. Thomas the Apostle School

Lisa Lagon, Vice President

Jaeger & Flynn Associates, Inc.

Elise Puzio, Secretary

State University of New York

Julie Clancy, Treasurer

Emma Willard School

A'livija Mullins-Richard, Junior Board Member


Tarranum Koslik, Accu Staff

Francesca LoPorto-Brandow, Grey Castle Security, Inc.

Julie Maio, SUNY Administration System

Theresa Marangas, Attorney

Brittney Moore, Troy Preparatory Charter School

Chaina Porter, SUNY Albany

Pamela Skripak, SUNY Albany

Nicole Stein, SEFCU

Hannah Stenzel, Godfrey Financial