In 1913, Yates organized and became a branch of the YWCA, Kansas City, Kansas.
This branch served over 69 years in the capacity of providing educational and recreational programs for children, youth, adults, and senior citizens. Emphasis was placed on civic and social responsibility, religion, the arts, health, and family leisure activities.
In 1980, Friends of Yates, Inc. received a grant from the Governor’s Committee on Criminal Administration and United Way to open the first and only Domestic Violence Emergency shelter in Wyandotte County. Within 24 hours of its opening, the shelter was full to capacity.
In January of 1983, the Wyandotte County Battered Women’s Shelter officially changed its name to the Rebecca Vincson Center who was a prominent African-American political leader that was vested in issues affecting women and children. The shelter proudly carried this name until March 18, 1994, when it was again renamed the Joyce H. Williams Center after another pioneer for Women’s Rights. Finally in 2008, the shelter made its final name change when it became the Della Gill/Joyce H. Williams Center for Battered Women and their Dependent Children.
Friend of Yates, Inc. is a participant of the collaborative effort, known as the Metropolitan Family Violence Coalition (MFVC), which represents the six domestic violence programs in Greater Kansas City Area. The coalition is committed to providing safety for domestic violence victims across the Metropolitan Area.