YWCA holiday wish list: Making a difference for those in crisis – and more

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YWCA is located at 72 Concord St. in Manchester. Photo/Carol Robidoux

Nonprofit Spotlight is an occasional feature that shines a light on local organizations that rely on your help – and generosity – to make a difference in our community.

MANCHESTER, NHYWCA New Hampshire has been providing comprehensive services to meet the needs of women, children and families in New Hampshire since 1920.

The “YW’s” stated mission is “to empower women and eliminate racism,” based strongly in their founding roots. Many of their programs are making a difference every day, from Missy’s Closet  basement “thrift store” run by John and Heidi Cantin as a partner of YWCA, and the only location in Manchester to take a HiSET (high school  equivalency test), to providing emergency shelter to men or women in crisis due to domestic abuse.

YWCA Chief Development Officer Amanda Ames inside the room where supplies are stored to help equip families moving out of Emily’s Place emergency shelter and into their own apartments. Photo/Carol Robidoux

If you are looking for a way to help lift up our community, there are four simple ways you can make a tangible difference today for those who receive free services from the YW:

More on YWCA of NH services

REACH Crisis Services

YWCA NH REACH Crisis Services provides free and confidential services to victims/survivors of domestic and sexual violence and stalking, regardless of gender, age, health status, physical, mental, and emotional ability, sexual orientation, sexual identity/expression, socio-economic status race, national origin, immigration status or religious or political affiliation.

Anyone can walk in and take essential supplies from the front desk, from socks and hand warmers to mittens and feminine products. These supplies always need replenishment. Photo/Carol Robidoux

Services include but are not limited to:

24-Hour Crisis Line

  • Call 603-668-2299 24/7 and give a name and call back number.
  • An advocate will call you back within 10 minutes.
  • For safety reasons, we will NOT leave call back messages.
  • Language Line & TTY
    • For bilingual and bicultural clients, all services are available with access to the language line in more than 100 languages.
    • For clients in the deaf community, all services are available with access through TTY.
Missy’s Closet is operated from the YWCA basement with lots of clothing items in all sizes at thrift-store prices. Photo/Carol Robidoux

Walk-In Services

  • Clients can walk-in to the office Monday-Friday 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. at 72 Concord St., Manchester, NH 03101
  • An advocate will be made available (typically 10 minutes or less)

Court Accompaniment

  • Advocates can meet clients at court to assist with domestic violence petitions.
  • Advocates can accompany victims to court for the final hearing for protective orders, criminal hearings, and other civil hearings.

Hospital Accompaniment

  • Advocates are called to respond to Elliott Hospital, Catholic Medical Center, and Parkland Medical Center by hospital staff for patients experiencing domestic violence and sexual assault.
  • Advocates can also respond to local clinics and doctor’s offices upon request.

Child Advocacy Center Accompaniment

Advocates may be available to respond to child victim interviews.

  • Advocates can answer questions for parents/guardians about the child interview process and make referrals for families coping with child abuse.
  • Advocates provide a safe person for children to wait with while parents/guardians meet with the team to discuss the case.

Law Enforcement Accompaniment

  • Advocates can attend police and prosecutor follow-up interviews with victims upon request.
  • YWCA NH Crisis Services can assist victims involved in criminal cases from report through sentencing.

Family Violence Prevention Specialist with DCYF

  • YWCA NH Crisis Services has an advocate who partially works out of the local DCYF office to assist involved families who are coping with domestic or sexual violence.

Manchester Outright’s Support Group

  • For LGBTQ+ (and allies) Youth 11-21 meets the first and third Friday of each month, 6:30-8:30 p.m. at the YWCA, 72 Concord St.

Get Involved

Volunteer Opportunities

Join the Board of Directors/Committees

Board and committee members represent the YW at community events throughout the year, when possible attend YW events, and provide networking opportunities with their contacts. Board members also oversee the governance of the agency. YW’s two event-focused committees are empowerHER Breakfast Committee and 100 Year Celebration Committee/Roaring 20s Event (March 2020).  YW’s standing committees include; Racial Justice, Every Woman’s Center, Development, LGBTQ+ and Crisis Awareness Committee.

Crisis Line Advocate

Provide advocacy and support on our 24-hour crisis hotline.

Administrative Assistant

Greet clients, answer phones, and assist with administrative tasks.

Child Care

Provide child care to allow parents to attend support groups and educational programs.


Individuals or groups can assist with maintenance and cleaning projects at the main office building or at Emily’s Place emergency shelter.

If you would like to join the YW team by becoming a volunteer, simply call 603-625-5785 or reach out via email at info@ywcanh.org.

About Carol Robidoux 6532 Articles
Longtime NH journalist and publisher of ManchesterInkLink.com. Loves R&B, German beer, and the Queen City!