Homes Wanted For American Women in France - 1918


The demand in France for the YWCA and its warm, efficient hospitality grew completely out of bounds in the days before peace was declared. By cable came a series of desperate pleas.

The París foyer must have an entire permanent building. Four government departments at Paris, the departments of War, Finance, Commerce and Labor, have demanded extensive work.”

No one can tell what the plans will be now that the Americans will be returning. But many people believe that the days of reconstruction will involve a broader responsibility than ever before.

“A second, and possibly a third, Paris Hostess House is imperative. Two to twenty American women are turned away nightly. There is a waiting list for permanent winter quarters of one hundred and fifty. We have one hundred to one hundred and fifty waiting every night at our dining-room door, and for Sunday night dinner, two hundred and fifty—half of them men, regular American soldiers or "Y" men,” wrote Miss Keith Clark recently.

The work among women of all organizations is constantly increasing at landing ports and gateway cities to the Front. The Hostess House at Tours will be ready November first for Signal Corps girls and other American women who will be needed more than ever in France to do reconstruction work. The need of the American men at Tours is such that the dining-room is being opened to them too. Six hostesses are required immediately for this Signal Corps post. The telephone girl’s work in France will continue as long as there are any American soldiers abroad.

An additional building is ordered at the Lyon Exposition. The fourteenth YWCA Foyer is opening at Nertille; on November tenth, the fifteenth will open at Mont Luzon. At Nertille, where three hundred French girls doing salvage work are to be cared for, the American Army invited the Association voluntarily, and built the hut.

The Inter-Allied Club Rooms at Havre will be ready November first, where tea, light lunch, and, almost the best of all, rest, await the weary worker. At Neuf Château a town club for traveling women war workers will be ready on November fifteenth—another oasis in the desert.

In the rushing business quarter of Paris, Porte St. Martin, an indoor recreation center has been secured. Three very large rooms with fine floors are being converted into one splendid hall. Showers and an adequate kitchen complete the place, which will be used for both French and American girls.

The Central Paris offices have finally procured a magnificent site. A formal opening of the twelve rooms will be held the afternoon of November twelfth. Prominent French and American speakers will lend prestige to the occasion.

Such calls for more—and more—and more—houses, rooms, workers. France needs us—urgently.

War Work Bulletin, New York: Young Women's Christian Associations, No. 49, 22 November 1918

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