Promoting Health in Spirit, Mind and Body
Few places in our society bring people from so many diverse backgrounds together in a spirit of friendship as the YMCA. Part of a worldwide movement that began in London, England in 1844, the almost 3,000 YMCAs in the United States now serve upwards of twenty million people.
That spirit of friendship came to Chattanooga in 1871 when the city it would eventually serve was only thirty-three years old. The YMCA of Metropolitan Chattanooga was incorporated by a group of civic minded individuals five years later, making it one of the oldest social service organizations in the city. For more than 130 years, it has advanced the organization’s founding mission of promoting Christian principles through programs that build healthy spirit, mind, and body for all regardless of race, religion, gender, age, income, or ability.
Over its more than a century of service to the region, the YMCA of Metropolitan Chattanooga has grown to eight branches conveniently located throughout the area to offer its wide range of services to the maximum number of families and individuals. The organization now includes:
Facilities vary by branch, but an association-wide YMCA membership gives members access to every program and feature at all area Ys. Adults choose from a wide range of programs including aquatics, racquetball leagues, soccer, ultimate Frisbee, aerobic group exercise classes, free weights and resistance machines, cardio equipment, lacrosse, track, and others.
Programs and Services
More than 37,000 people in the area are now served by the YMCA of Metropolitan Chattanooga. Across the nation, the Y is the largest not-for-profit provider of child care. The YMCA of Metropolitan Chattanooga offers before and after school care at many convenient locations and a licensed pre-school age child care center at the Downtown Family YMCA.
The Y also serves as a place where young people can gather to participate in activities that promote personal growth, develop social and physical skills, and provide good wholesome fun. With an emphasis on quality programming, safety and positive Christian values, the YMCA provides a wide variety of programs for children and teens, including youth sports, Adventure Guides, inner city tutoring programs, Middle and High School Model UN, Youth Leadership Chattanooga, Leaders’ Club, Teen Nights, Youth Trust and Y-CAP, an intensive intervention program for at risk middle school children.
Service to the Community
The YMCA of Metropolitan Chattanooga continues to be a volunteer-led, community based organization. In its ongoing effort to make its facilities and services available to all, the YMCA of Metropolitan Chattanooga provides membership and program scholarships totaling over $1 million every year.
Through a wide variety of programs for all ages, the YMCA contributes to the health of the community, supports families, builds tomorrow’s leaders, enhances the educational system, works to prevent juvenile crime, promotes good citizenship and volunteerism, and gives parents of all incomes a caring and safe child care environment.
As the needs of families have become more complex, the Y wants to be more than just activity centers for families. We're looking for concrete ways to strengthen families by helping build character and developmental assets in today's youth. The YMCA’s financial assistance program, supported in part through contributions to the Strong Kids Campaign and United Way, is pleased to provide scholarships for YMCA programs and services, making our programs available to anyone who applies and qualifies for assistance.
Activate America is the YMCA’s response to the nation’s growing health crisis. Here in Chattanooga, the YMCA is changing the way they work inside their facilities to influence and motivate health seekers to make positive changes, and also taking an active role in the community to help develop strategies to support healthier living.
No single organization can effectively solve the nation’s chronic disease crisis; however, the YMCA of Metropolitan of Chattanooga is collaborating with local governments, non-profits, health providers, researchers and community leaders to mobilize the community in response to this public health crisis.