YWCA Walla Walla - Remodel
Minor structural changes that can be made to an existing building; moving walls or doors, adding windows or integrating a security system.

Domestic Violence Services of Benton & Franklin Counties

YWCA Walla Walla

Eastside Domestic Violence Program
Salvation Army Catherine Booth House
YWCA Pierce County
Family Resource Center of Lincoln County

Domestic Violence Housing First

A remodel at the YWCA Walla Walla focused on improving the shelter based on conversations with the residents, advocates, the Director of the YWCA, Anne Marie Schwerin, and the architect.

Residents wanted more control over their food. The team realized that many conflicts could be avoided if each resident family had their own locked refrigerator to keep food they had purchased separate. Communal food is kept in a large refrigerator and freezer.

Residents also wanted the security of locked doors into their rooms. The team knew they needed a cost efficient, easy and safe way to provide residents with that security, so the Director of the YWCA approached a local security company and explained their goals. The company donated the installation of a key card system for every resident room. Key cards are much less expensive and easier to replace than keys, and they give residents privacy and security while still allowing staff the access they need to monitor health and safety.

Another goal that emerged from the conversations was the need for a safe play area for children. Given that the program is located in the middle of their small town’s main street area, the team decided to locate the play area on the roof. The rooftop play area provides a secure place for children and adult residents to get fresh air and sunshine while maintaining privacy.

Community Context: Rural
Shelter Type: Communal Apartment
Building Area: 6,700 SF
Average # of Families: 12
Living Unit Types: (13) family bedrooms in a shared suite
Kitchen/Dining Type: Communal
Other Communal Spaces: Living Room, Children’s Room, Quiet Room & Shared Meeting Room
On-Site Staff: 6
Top: The shelter's kitchen has a wall of mini refrigerators which all lock individually for storing residents' food. Bottom: An exterior play area on the roof has a rubber floor for active kids.