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 also from United Way to open the first and only battered women’s 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 who 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, who was as well invested in women’s issues. The Center made its final name change in 2008, 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 collaborative effort, known as the Metropolitan Family Violence Coalition (MFVC), which represents the six domestic violence programs in the Greater Kansas City Metropolitan Area. The coalition is committed to provide a safety net for domestic violence victims across the Metropolis.