Elisabeth Fuchs, member of the Paris YWCA, funded Naples Residence: the inauguration took place on March, 10 1912. On that day, the 22 Naples Street became the Association headquarters.
The first French Girl Scouts groups appear, on the 22 Naples Street YWCA among others. It is the adaptation of the British Girl Scouts movement, based on Baden-Powell methods.
From 1913, the Residence became too small, and especially during the war when she could not accommodate all these girls at its gates.
In 1918, the French YWCA movement blossomed. In Paris opened two new buildings on Boulard and Orfila Streets, and one in Bordeaux city on Gouvion Street. Three Holiday Homes were also created: the “Oiseau Bleu” in Boissy l’Aillerie, the “Château de Charlay” in Châtellerault, and the “Esquirou” in the Pyrenean city of Port de Béon.
In 1919, the 22 Naples Street restaurant is converted into a self-service canteen, based on the model of American ones.
The Association is recognized to be of Public Utility in 1920: “this is tangible proof of the good we are doing for the young”.
In 1921, the 22 Naples Street can accommodate no more than 108 young ladies. The same year, it had to decline more than 2,500 applications!
In 1922, Elisabeth Fuchs had the 22 Naples Street building raised three floors higher, providing new space for additional 70 places, for a total accommodation capacity of 180 places. A terrace and solarium are added on the new rooftop.
If the “active members” mainly come from local Protestant parishes, the “associate members” can come from various backgrounds (workers, students, foreigners…) as long as they “aspire to a moral life”. The non-religious nature of the Association is then claimed. Ever since, the YWCA Paris carries out secular activities, while its work stays guided by its initial Protestant values. It will take until 2006 for the residence to welcome young men too!