New York City’s YMCAWe’re here for good.

About Us

Areas of Focus
Benefit to the Community
Defining Priorities
Board of Directors
Staff 
Reports & Publications
Experts
Location Rentals/Film Shoots
History


Our Cause

We are a powerful association of men, women and children joined together by a shared commitment to nurturing the potential of kids, promoting healthy living and fostering a sense of social responsibility.  We believe that lasting personal and social change can only come about when we all work together to invest in our kids, our health and our neighbors. That's why, at the Y, strengthening community is our cause. Every day, we work side-by-side with our neighbors throughout the five boroughs to make sure that everyone, regardless of age, income or background, has the opportunity to learn, grow and thrive.


Areas of Focus

FOR YOUTH DEVELOPMENT

All kids deserve the opportunity to discover who they are and what they can achieve, therefore, we focus our program delivery to NYC children and teens so they cultivate the values, skills and relationships that lead to positive behaviors, better health and enhanced educational achievement.

  • Download our Youth Development fact sheet (PDF, 3.1 MB) to learn more ›

FOR HEALTHY LIVING

The Y enjoys the capacity and the scale to make a positive and measurable impact upon New York City's health and well-being. We recognize our unique responsibility by offering programs that encourage healthy lifestyles, bond families closer together, and strengthen connection with others.

FOR SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY

As we have for more than 160 years, we continue to listen and respond to our communities' most critical social needs, with a focus on New York City's most vulnerable citizens and underserved populations. 

  • Download our Social Responsibility fact sheet (PDF, 2.4 MB) to learn more ›

Benefit to the Community

The Y undoubtedly changes lives. Beyond the calculations that show over $54 million dollars of free programs delivered to New Yorkers, the 500,000 people touched by the Y in each year have had life changing experiences in our youth development, healthy living or community development activities.

Learn about the $54.9 million in free, subsidized or sponsored programs and services to New Yorkers last year.


Defining Priorities

Y MVPY-MVP
A new component of the successful Strong Kids Card program, Y-MVP is an innovative digital game designed to motivate, recognize and reward teens to increase their daily levels of Moderate to Vigorous Physical activity while helping them to create life-long healthy habits.
Learn more
  

Y SchoolsY Schools
Y Schools is a new program model that establishes a full-time Y presence in partner schools. Y Schools takes a holistic approach to youth development by offering enhanced programs and services that extend from the opening school bell to day’s end.
Learn more
  

Y RoadsY Roads
Y Roads is designed to support young people who are neither employed nor in school to get themselves on a path to success. The center-based model builds on the Y’s strengths in youth work, counseling services and leadership development.
Learn more
 

 


Board of Directors

Our influential board of directors is passionate about strengthening the foundations of New York City communities. View a listing of our Board of Directors.


Staff

Passionate. Dedicated. Nurturing. Genuine.

Senior staff at the Y work day in and day out to deliver and grow quality programs and services in communities throughout the five boroughs.

View Senior Staff Listing and Biographies


Reports & Publications

Want more info about the Y? Take a look at these regular publications.


Experts

Our experts are media trained and ready to contribute to your story or speak at your event. From bullying to break dancing to diabetes prevention to development to depression to drug addiction, the Y experts bureau is made up of thought leaders in New York City. Watch brief interviews with each of our experts to see how they shine on camera. Contact Ellen Murphy at emurphy@ymcanyc.org or 212-630-9699 to connect with a Y expert today.

Jack LundJack Lund
President &
Chief Executive Officer

Leading the largest YMCA in the U.S., Jack's career spans 35 years and includes a rich variety of top leadership roles as well as hands-on grassroots experience working with teens, families, and communities.

Lund Video
   
Gary LaermerGary Laermer
Senior Vice President &
Chief Development Officer

Gary is responsible for all philanthropic and charitable giving programs for the Y and was recently highlighted in Chronicle of Philanthropy, highlighting his work with donor stewardship and effective campaign management.
Laermer Video
   
Lori Rose BensonLori Rose Benson
Vice President,
Healthy Lifestyles

Lori oversees all aspects of the Y's Healthy Lifestyles and Membership initiatives. In this role, she works to ensures the Y supports a broad range of fitness options and operate within and above Association standards.
Benson Video
   

Sean AndrewsSean Andrews
Vice President,
Youth Development

Sean oversees the Y's youth development initiatives as well the international branch. Sean places a particular emphasis on program development and is always looking at new and better ways to serve the children and families of New York City.

Andrews Video
   
Judy OuzielJudy Ouziel
Senior Executive Director, Strategic Initiatives

Judy directs the development of stategic initiatives for the Y, including the YMCA Diabetes Prevention Program, Activate America pathways to membership and strategies to address chronic disease prevention, youth obesity and community health.
Ouziel Video

 


Location Rentals/Film Shoots

  • Rentals - With 22 locations throughout the five boroughs, the Y has a myriad of rental spaces for birthday parties, special events, meetings, corporate events and fitness classes. Please contact your local Y to understand spaces that are available for rental.
     
  • Media Requests - Members of the media are welcome at the Y for broadcast and print shoots dependent upon the content of the piece and the potential disruption to members. All requests should be sent to Ellen Murphy at emurphy@ymcanyc.org
     
  • Photo and Film Shoots - Facility rentals may be available to accommodate photo and film shoots depending on timing, schedule and content. All film crews must have the proper certificate of insurance. Location specific rental fees will apply. All requests should be sent to Ellen Murphy at emurphy@ymcanyc.org

History

The story of New York City's YMCA parallels the story of our great City. Throughout our 160-year history, the Y has played an important role in New York City, anchored in its neighborhoods and continuously evolving to meet the needs of the kids, families and adults who live there. The YMCA was established in New York 1852 to provide young men new to the city a Christian alternative to the attractions of city life. Organized in the Mercer Street Presbyterian Church, the New York YMCA first operatedfrom numerous rented facilities in lower Manhattan, including buildings at 659 Broadway, Astor Place, Waverly Place, Bible House, 161 Fifth Avenue and 3rd Avenue and 9th Street. In 1869, the New York YMCA moved into a large building constructed in the French Renaissance style.

Thought to be the first purpose-built YMCA in the United States, the building was designed by notable church architect James Renwick, Jr. It included a large library and reading room, rooms for games, social parlors, a gymnasium, baths, a bowling alley, classrooms, lecture rooms and an auditorium. These features came to be standard at YMCAs throughout the countryOne of the most important events in the early history of the New York City YMCA was the appointment of Robert R. McBurney, first as librarian and later as secretary. Said to be the first paid YMCA secretary,

McBurney was an immigrant from northern Ireland whose influence on the development of the YMCA in New York was profound. For example, he helped the national headquarters of the YMCA of the USA locate permanently in New York; there was considerable overlap between the boards of the New York and national YMCA. McBurney was instrumental in developing the metropolitan concept of YMCAs that still operates today in large cities throughout the US. He organized and presided over early New York State conventions and reached out to influential and wealthy men in New York to support the work of the YMCA. The New York YMCA, in part because of McBurney's leadership, played an important role in the development of local and national social welfare organizations, including the Sanitary Commission, founded in New York in 1861; the U. S. Christian Commission, established in the same year by northern YMCAs to help troops and prisoners of war; the New York Society for the Suppression of Vice, founded in 1876; and the White Cross Army, established in 1885 to promote personal purity among young men. The New York YMCA also supported and publicized the revivalist work of evangelists such as Dwight L. Moody and Ira Sankey.

When McBurney died in 1898, the New York YMCA had more than a dozen branches, including those devoted to serving railroad workers, French and German-speaking immigrants and college students. Although the number of branches and the outreach programs have changed to reflect shifting demographics and community needs, the YMCA in the 21st century provides services to millions of New Yorkers. During the early years of the YMCA in New York, the organization was also developing and expanding in Brooklyn and other boroughs. Founded in 1853, the Brooklyn Young Men's Christian Association merged with the YMCA of Queens in 1924 to form the Brooklyn-Queens Young Men's Christian Association. This organization merged with the YMCA of the City of New York in 1957 to form the YMCA of Greater New York. To celebrate the 150th anniversary of the YMCA in 2002, the YMCA of Greater New York published a book entitled "The YMCA at 150 - A History of the YMCA of Greater New York" by Pamela Bayless. Copies are available upon request by emailing emurphy@ymcanyc.org. Looking for more historical information about the Y? Contact the Kautz Family YMCA Archives at the University of Minnesota.