Eliminating Racism & Empowering Women for over 100 years.

YWCA is on a mission to eliminate racism, empower women and promote peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all.

YWCA Carlisle & Cumberland County actively promotes and recognizes principles of fairness, equity, and social justice across intersections of race, age, color, disability, faith, religion, ancestry, national origin, citizenship, sex, sexual orientation, social class, economic class, ethnicity, gender identity, gender expression and all other identities represented among our diverse community.


YWCA Carlisle was founded by the Carlisle Civic Club and incorporated in 1919. We opened the first daycare center in the greater Carlisle Area, offered fitness and empowerment programs for women and girls in the early 1920s, started clubs for African American girls in the 1930’s, and provided food to those in need during the Great Depression.

The first home of YWCA Carlisle was the Bosler House on West High Street. In 1972, we moved into the YMCA facility on South West Street. In 1990, the YWCA Carlisle built a new facility at 301 G Street on property donated by the George family, which is still home to our Administrative Offices, Preschool & Sexual Assault/Rape Crisis Services. Today, we are YWCA Carlisle & Cumberland County so our name better represents all the communities we serve.

We’re here to help

YWCA Carlisle & Cumberland County operates Sexual Assault/Rape Crisis Services of Cumberland County to support victims of sexual assault and their families. Our Empowerment department features various programs aimed at all ages and all types of people, such as Second Seasons (a monthly meeting for women over 65 years old), After the Bell (an afterschool program for youth living in Grandview Apartments), and in the fall, we will be starting many more programs such as Harvest Bounty (aimed at teaching sustainable gardening practices for growing produce) and The Rainbow Collective (an LGBTQ+ support group) along with many others! Our Little Wonders preschool is dedicated to providing quality early childhood education to all families in the community. Racial justice is a critical focus and one of the two mission pillars of the organization and drives our partnership with Carlisle Hope Station, a local community organization working to empower the Memorial Park neighborhood in Carlisle’s northside. Come take a look at everything we are doing with community outreach, prevention education, trainings, rallies, community events, and even hosting panel events and discussions to address racial and social justice issues playing out in our region.

How we receive support

YWCA Carlisle & Cumberland County appreciates generous contributions received from individual donors, local clubs, and organizations, as well as private & family foundations. If you are looking for ways to give, please go to for a list of items we need as well as making monetary donations.

YWCA Carlisle & Cumberland County receives funding support from many local, state, and federal contracts. The sexual assault and human trafficking services provided in Cumberland County is the beneficiary of funds from Pennsylvania Coalition to Advance Respect (PCAR) which administers funds from several PA state agencies. Through collaborative efforts with the District Attorney’s office, the program receives Victims Of Crime Act (VOCA) funding and PA Commission on Crime & Delinquency (PCCD) funding.

We also receive the generous support of United Way of Carlisle & Cumberland County, United Way of the Capital Region, and United Way of the Shippensburg Area.

The Housing Authority of Carlisle & Cumberland County supports youth programs offered by YWCA Carlisle & Cumberland County staff at Grandview Court.

Gifts from our Corporate Partners and local businesses ensure that YWCA Carlisle & Cumberland County continues to provide opportunities for community members who have experienced sexual violence to receive quality care without having to be placed on a lengthy waiting list. These donations also help to support prevention education and empowerment programs for youth through elderly adults, providing scholarships for preschool and summer camp, and as we like to say around here: a donation towards the YWCA is a donation that goes right back into our local Cumberland County community!

We are here to support


The World Health Organization reports 1 in 3 women worldwide is subjected to physical or sexual violence in her lifetime: Source


  • Every 73 seconds, an American is sexually assaulted.
  • Every 9 minutes, that victim is a child. –Rape Abuse Incest National Network (RAINN)

Empowerment/Youth Programming

“A robust body of evidence demonstrates the effectiveness of Social Emotional Learning (SEL) on academic outcomes. A 2023 meta-analysis led by Yale University reviewed more than 400 studies and found that students participating in SEL at school had higher “school functioning,” including grades, test scores, attendance, homework completion, and engagement. The research further demonstrates that SEL creates better conditions for learning as it found students saw decreases in aggression and bullying, anxiety, stress, depression, suicidality;  felt safer at schools, and reported higher levels of inclusion, connectedness and healthy relationships.” -Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) from the March 8, 2024 article titled U.S. Senate and White House Honor ‘National Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) Week’ with Bipartisan Resolution, Presidential Letter

UPMC Community Health Needs Assessment

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  • More than half (59.6 percent) of the ZIP codes represented in the UPMC Pinnacle Hospitals study area reported percentages above the nation (10.8 percent) of adult residents without a high school diploma.
  • From 2007 to 2012, rates of emotional, behavioral, or developmental conditions in children in the U.S. and Pennsylvania both rose, with the Pennsylvania rate being slightly higher. In most recent years, U.S. saw a notable increase in the rate of 30 Any mental illness (AMI) is defined as having a diagnosable mental, behavioral, or emotional disorder, other than a developmental or substance use disorder, that met the criteria found in the 4th edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV). UPMC Pinnacle Hospitals CHNA 2018 34 children with emotional, behavioral, or developmental conditions while the rate in Pennsylvania declined; a positive sign (19.0 percent to 18.0 percent respectively).
  • Health education related to understanding poor behaviors is necessary to instill in children at an early age. Teaching children the dangers of substance abuse and recognizing early signs related to mental health provides a pathway to learn about important health risks and conditions. Children readily grasp habits at an early age. Reinforcement along with healthy actions can change and reduce the likelihood of future poor behaviors. Health education aims to build on a framework of existing knowledge and attitudes. It sets out to reduce diseases and risky behaviors. Health education can help patients understand their own diagnosis and recovery stages as it provides an outline and furthers goals and objectives. Development of skills at an early age, understanding conditions, and aliments throughout life will create a better future for the individual. Health education should include physical, mental, social, and emotional health. Residents throughout the U.S. suffer from anxiety, depression, eating disorders, etc. and many do not understand what may be occurring physically. Having accessible facts and knowledge, along with a strong fostering environment, will help the individual and those around them.
  • Individuals who have an education, in particular, a higher education (a bachelor’s degree or higher), tend to have strong employment security, earn a higher income, and hold an advantage for additional employment opportunities. Having an education also enables individuals to navigate the health care system for services, understand the importance of preventive care, make better health choices for themselves and their family, therefore, improving their own health and well-being.

Statistics on Cumberland County, Pennsylvania

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