A legacy of service
In the early days, women who migrated to the area for employment turned to Waypoint for help. Over the first 50 years, Waypoint’s focus evolved from fancywork, dress-making, and music to physical fitness, self-improvement, and community outreach.
In the 1970s, Waypoint responded to the community’s increasing demand for critical services by beginning to address domestic violence, sexual assault, and homelessness. A child care center was also created at that time to support working families.
As these initiatives gained momentum, the Madge Phillips Center Shelter was built for homeless women and their children in 1995. 2001 marked the year when Waypoint disaffiliated from the YWCA to solely concentrate on critical needs in the community.
Today, Waypoint upholds its tradition of improving lives through the following programs:
- Housing & Homeless Services
- Domestic Violence Victim Services Program
- Child Care Services
- Survivors' Program
These programs, serving over 7,500 people in total each year, embody national best-practices, research-based approaches, and decades of experience keeping a finger on the pulse of the community.
How Waypoint’s history unfolded over the decades
YWCA chapter in Cedar Rapids was formed from the Bohemian Young Women's Union; the organization focused its efforts on the feminine disciplines of vocal music, dressmaking, and fancy work, and a lodging house at 3rd Ave and 6th St was acquired to help with housing young women migrating to the city for employment
Current building at 318 5th St SE was constructed
YWCA supported women with Bible study, leadership, self-improvement, physical fitness, socials, and community outreach projects and supported unemployed women with clothing, food, bedding, and money for housing
Work began on the new addition, which now houses KidsPoint Downtown Learning Center & Preschool
Community swimming classes, sex education classes, and drop-in youth program for teens start being offered
Recreational programs for special needs children are offered and fitness programs remodeled and expanded; residential program opened at Montrose Hotel in downtown Cedar Rapids, eventually evolving into the Domestic Violence Program and shelter; began Sexual Assault Program and opened the Women’s Emergency Shelter
Domestic Violence shelter opens in undisclosed location; Madge Phillips Resource Center opens for homeless women during the day; Child Care and Before & After School Care begins; in 1985, all fitness programs halted
Junior League of Cedar Rapids helps fundraise to build a 24/7 shelter for homeless women and children called the Madge Phillips Center Shelter; child care center renamed to Uptown Kids; RiverRidge Kids opens 1999 in partnership with AEGON to provide child care to their employees
Disaffiliates from the YWCA and changes name to Waypoint Services for Women, Children, and Families; men were invited to be members of the Board of Directors for the first time
Waypoint sustained over $1.2M in damages during the flood of 2008; opens ParkRidge Kids in partnership with AEGON to provide child care to their employees; Waypoint Kids, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Waypoint Services, is estabilished to provide child care management of the three child care centers
The Domestic Violence Shelter closed and all shelter services were consolidated to the Madge Phillips Center Shelter; Homeless Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Programs begin
1911 Building (located at 318 5th St SE) is renovated to better meet the needs of programs and clients; begin piloting Centralized Intake for emergency shelters to simplify access to shelter openings for those who are homeless or experiencing a housing crisis
Waypoint becomes the comprehensive service provider for 7 counties in Northeast Iowa for Domestic Violence Victim Services: Benton, Black Hawk, Buchanan, Delaware, Dubuque, Linn and Jones Counties; ParkRidge Kids and RiverRidge Kids Child Care Centers open up to the general public
Waypoint Child Care rebrands to KidsPoint Child Care to create unity and consistency; locations now known as KidsPoint Downtown, KidsPoint North, and KidsPoint South
Daytime Resource Program closes and Waypoint becomes the lead agency for Coordinated Entry in Linn, Benton, and Jones Counties, conducting weekly coordinated meetings with housing programs to get households impacted by homelessness into housing
KidsPoint North and KidsPoint South Learning Center and Preschools consolidate to form KidsPoint C Street
Waypoint completed $3.2M capital campaign to upgrade security and enhance entrances at 1911 Building and remodel KidsPoint Downtown Learning Center & Preschool; construction begins in April