Creating Dignity Through Design
YWCA of Helena is dedicated to eliminating racism, empowering women and promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all. Serving as transitional housing for women in need, the YWCA of Helena is committed to providing women with safe, affordable housing and assistance in accessing community resources.
SMA completed an investigation of the YWCA historic building’s deficiencies and provided direction as to how the YWCA can address those deficiencies, such as increasing accessibility for persons with disabilities, enhancing building security, and improving the functional Single Room Occupancy utility of the building.
Increasing Accessibility, Increasing Security + Improving Functionality
All direction provided in the preliminary architectural report is consistent with historic preservation guidelines and will enhance the lives of those at the YWCA.
The report maximizes community outreach space with classrooms, education, and program areas as well as improving community access through re-located administrative offices.
The project received full funding by CDBG, HOME, and Historic Tax Credits. The renovation is now complete and serving the residents and staff well.
With a vibrant commons and cafeteria adjoining the main entry, the school feels welcoming to students and the community, while a gym and stage holds other community events and performances. The school's entries are designed to activate the surrounding downtown and neighborhood areas.