SCHENECTADY, N.Y. (NEWS 10) – The Young Women’s Christian Association of Northeastern New York runs the only domestic violence shelter in Schenectady County. During the month of October, they offer additional events to raise awareness and support like tonight’s “Take Back the Night Walk”.

“Hello, you have reached YWCA Northeastern New York where every day we work to eliminate racism and Empower women,” says the incoming call message at the YWCA in Schenectady.

“We deal with women men and children at the shelter, and we will be able to serve pets,” says CEO Kim Siciliano.

The YWCA in Schenectady hosting a walk to raise awareness for domestic violence and celebrating their new $1.4 million shelter.  Even those who feel they cannot leave an abusive situation because they can’t leave their pets have a way out. A $60,000 grant for the Red Rover program enables furry family members to stay at the shelter, too.

“We’ve been renting our shelter for 40 years and so we’ve never had a place to call home,” says Siciliano.

The shelter can see up to 20 new cases a week with the assistance of police and other advocacy placement. They also see up to an additional 15 walk in cases a week.

“In 33 years, we’ve Helped over 5,000,” said Siciliano.

The annual walk that heads up Union St. to Erie Blvd. and then over to State St. and back again. This year they had some help from the Moose Riderz Motorcycle Club. They brought the noise as they escorted the march around town.

The YWCA also taking a more proactive approach and reaching out to the youth in the region.

“And we are going into the schools were starting to work with boys and Girls Club to be able to assist them as healthy relationships so we’re really looking at that long-term relationship and making sure that they know relationship is before they get into that relationship,” says the Director of Shelter Advocacy and Domestic Violence Education, Wendi Gapczynski.

The YWCA in Schenectady is currently assisting over 145 people in need.