Seattle, WA

YWCA Seattle |King| Snohomish Joins Starbucks in Bringing Community Store Model to Seattle

Starbucks and YWCA officials unveiled a plaque that reads, "Welcome to your Starbucks." The "your" refers to the fact that this particular store has now been designated a "community store" by Starbucks.

Founded in Seattle in 1894, the YWCA has been a vital hub in the Central District since it opened its first branch there in 1919. At that time, African Americans had few places to gather outside of church. The YWCA offered Central District community members access to social, educational and employment programming; and, it was a popular venue for weddings, dances and community meetings.

Today, the YWCA Seattle |King| Snohomish, East Cherry branchserves the community with a variety of programs, including a food bank, emergency and transitional housing, specialized domestic violence services for adults and youth and youth development programs.

This year, Starbucks announced that they were bringing their unique Community Store business model to the Starbucks located at the corner of 23rd and Jackson. It's the only Starbucks store of its kind in Seattle and one of only five of the almost 21,000 Starbucks worldwide. This store will support two YWCA programs serving young people in Seattle’s Central District: YWCA GirlsFirst and the YWCA’s Young Parent Programthrough a $0.15 donation per transaction, and through community-building activities.

Patricia Hayden, YWCA Senior Director of Specialized and Integrated Services, said, “We are excited by this partnership with Starbucks because of the benefits it will bring to the young people in YWCA programs and in our community. The Community Store will offer them opportunities to learn about the business side of Starbucks and provide new and exciting ways for them to engage with their community.”
The mission of GirlsFirst is to encourage leadership, instill confidence, develop skills, and provide opportunities to girls of color. Activities are focused on academic support, career development, exposure to experiences in higher education, and community involvement through the lens of social justice.

Sandy, a YWCA GirlsFirst alumnae, said “I think that my parents taught me how to live and they taught me how to survive. But I feel like the YWCA really taught me what to do and taught me… skills and how to hone those skills to make it, so I can not only just survive but I can be successful.”

The YWCA Young Parent Program serves parents who are homeless and extremely low-income, ages of 18 to 25-years-old, and their children. This program works to empower these parents with the skills, courage, confidence and resources they need to believe in their potential and plan for the future through employment, education and training.

“My experience with the Young Parent Program put a lot of things in perspective for me, said Le’Anna, a YWCA Young Parent Program graduate. Now I want to be at a place where I never have to worry about being homeless ever again.” 

Read more about this project in this article written by The Seattle Times.

To learn more about YWCA Seattle|King| Snohomish visit their website and like them on Facebook.