In response to Resolution 33

YWCA Lancaster is dedicated to eliminating racism, empowering women, and promoting peace, justice, freedom, and dignity for all. The Lancaster County Commissioners’ passage of Resolution 33 declaring Lancaster County a “non-sanctuary county”, as well as continuing to demonize our institutions and LGBTQ+ community for providing family-friendly programming, puts this mission at risk. More importantly, it jeopardizes the safety and security for countless members of our community.

Since 1889, YWCA Lancaster has worked to provide safety, shelter, and empowerment those who need it; for centuries prior to that, our state has been doing the same. It is this history of welcome that has laid the groundwork for our community to thrive: diversity, innovation, and safety.

And while we have far to go to achieve our full potential, actions and rhetoric expressed taken that make our community less safe, run counter to our history, and imperil our future.

YWCA Lancaster opposes any laws or rhetoric that rejects the humanity of our LGBTQ+ community. Further, we believe that we should enact policies that safeguard people of color from police violence and increases police accountability. And as Lancaster County’s Rape Crisis Center, we must advocate for stronger protections for victim survivors of sexual violence.

With local officials’ passage of Resolution 33, they are increasing the chance of a population that is predominantly people of color will be harmed by police violence. In dehumanizing our LGBTQ+ community, they are endangering LGBTQ+ Lancastrians. And with both actions, they are eroding trust in the systems that we rely on to do our work of supporting victim survivors, and our County at large.

What we know:

  • We have learned from our Racial Equity Profile that people of color make up more arrests than their population proportion in 87% in boroughs and townships that report data. Actions like Resolution 33 that embolden more arrests of communities of color will make these already clear inequities greater.
  • Nearly 50% of immigrant women have reported abuse in their lifetimes, three times the national average. Fear that they or their loved ones may face consequences if they report harm will drive victim survivors further into the shadows, increasing harm to them, their families, and our community.
  • Anti-LGBTQ+ laws, policies, and rhetoric are on the rise across the County and our country, impacting a population of our community that is already disproportionately impacted by bigotry, mental health crises, sexual assault, and abuse. Continuing to stigmatize and dehumanize the LGBTQ+ community makes our community less safe and puts Lancastrians in harm’s way.


Lancaster County—just like our agency—was founded to support the freedom to grow and thrive and need for sanctuary from persecution. We are proud to partner with you to continue the work of living up to our promise as a community. And while acts like those taken today by our County provide new challenges to fulfilling those promises, we are steadfast in our commitment to you to continue until our mission is met.