Mission:The mission of the YWCA Brooklyn is to eliminate racism and empower women. The YWCA of Brooklyn serves over 10,000 women each year. We are dedicated to providing women with the tools they need to empower themselves, while developing initiatives that promote gender equality and racial justice.History:The YWCA has been a Brooklyn landmark for decades --a home for women fleeing domestic abuse, the homeless, the working poor and those in need of a safe, affordable place to stay. Founded in 1888, the YWCA Brooklyn opened the first nursing school in the country, was the first YWCA to racially integrate its programs and residence, and was a pioneer in the womens movement. It established low-income housing, developed programming for victims of domestic abuse, opened a child development center and began award-winning breast cancer screening and education programs.The Turnaround Story: By 2005, this haven on Atlantic Avenue and 3rd Avenue was mired in debt and the 76-year-old building was in serious disrepair. There was pressure to sell the building - prime real estate - to commercial developers to convert into luxury apartments. But that would have left homeless the 214 women currently living at the YWCA Brooklyn and it also would have forced the YWCA to close its critical health and leadership services provided to women and girls throughout the borough.With New York City ranked the least affordable housing market for low-income people, homelessness at an all-time high, and rising Brooklyn real estate prices, the YWCA Brooklyn was determined to build on the institutions rich history of supporting women in need. By cobbling together a combination of federal, state and city funding, grants and private donations, the YWCA devised an innovative plan to save the building and expand services and programs. Under this new strategic plan, the YWCA is currently building 84 new affordable studio apartments, refurbishing the existing 220 single room units and creating a community center for women and girls. When the renovation is complete, the YWCA of Brooklyn will be the largest provider of affordable housing in downtown Brooklyn, with close to 300 units for low-income and homeless women.