YWCA Reopens Winter Street Residence; Former Director Receives Honors

Cutting the ribbon at The Residence in Haverhill are Ashley Taylor, YWCA; Beverly Donovan, president, Greater Haverhill Chamber of Commerce; Mary O’Brien, former YWCA executive director; Susan Staples, current executive director; and Andrew Herlihy, City of Haverhill. (Courtesy photograph.)

The YWCA formally reopened and dedicated its Winter Street, Haverhill, residence Tuesday to its former director, Mary B. O’Brien.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony with the Greater Haverhill Chamber of Commerce marked the reopening of the building, which has been closed since 2012.

The 107 Winter St. Victorian home, donated to the YWCA more than a century ago by Haverhill physician and philanthropist Ira Eaton Chase, now provides 10 single-room apartments for low-income women. Recent renovations include a new elevator and handicapped-accessibility features, a shared kitchen, common areas and baths.

Several years ago, the former Haverhill and Lawrence YWCA’s joined forces and today operates under the name YWCA Northeastern Massachusetts.

Under O’Brien’s leadership, the YWCA grew its mission and now offers more than 26 programs surrounding domestic and/or sexual violence, women’s health services, transitional housing, pre, after-school and summer children’s programs, gender-specific programs for girls, as well as health and fitness classes and programs.