THE YMCA IS FOR ALL
At the Harrisburg Area YMCA, we believe in honoring our Christian mission, acting in accordance with our values, and placing the greater good above self. It is our belief that we are stronger when our doors are open to all. Diversity and inclusion are core tenets of our mission “for all.” Our commitment to inclusive programs creates better communities, a better country, and a better world… for a better us. We work to ensure that everyone in our community feels welcomed and engaged.
The YMCA strives to provide everyone with the opportunity to learn, grow and thrive.
The YMCA does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, disability, genetic information, or other legally protected status. The YMCA is committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment consistent with its mission.
The Harrisburg Area YMCA is a non-profit, charitable organization committed to aid in the spiritual, mental, and physical development of each person enabling them to be beneficial and contributing members of our society. We accomplish our mission through our programs and services, which are designed to meet community needs in an atmosphere of Christian growth and love and to put Christian principles in to practice through programs that build healthy spirit, mind, and body for all.
Building stronger and healthier children, adults and families comes about when we all work together. That’s why at the YMCA, we work to strengthen our community by helping people live happier, healthier, and more purposeful lives.
To be a catalyst to transform lives and communities.
The Harrisburg Area YMCA has been a community anchor since 1854. Over its history the YMCA has brought lasting personal and social change, which it delivers through its programs at 5 membership branches, the YMCA Center for Healthy Living, the YMCA Harrisburg Cornerstone Initiative, LLC, and 36 offsite child development centers. As the YMCA grows, new leadership will be tasked with identifying new and innovative ways of delivering on the YMCA’s mission and vision, learning from YMCAs across the country.
Harrisburg Area YMCA Core Values
Caring, Honesty, Respect, and Responsibility.
These shared beliefs and principles guide our behavior, interactions with each other and decision-making. We promise to engage and operate in ways that exemplify these values.
- For Youth Development - Nurturing the potential of every child and teen.
- For Healthy Living - Improving physical, spiritual, emotional and mental well-being.
- For Social Responsibility - Giving back and providing support to our neighbors.
At the YMCA, we measure the success of our cause by how well we engage communities in these three areas of focus. From water safety to disease prevention, youth literacy to college readiness, safe, inclusive spaces to welcoming newcomers, everything our YMCA does is in service to making us better.
Harrisburg Area YMCA Association Facts
The Harrisburg Area YMCA was organized on December 12, 1854 and is the 8th oldest YMCA in the United States of America. The former Pennsylvania House, located on the southwest corner of 2nd and Locust Streets, was the first property owned by the Harrisburg YMCA. It was purchased in 1877. The association welcomes 35,000 individuals throughout the year through programs and services. YMCA membership includes access to all five branches throughout the greater Harrisburg area and discounted programming.
Branches and Operating Units
Camp Curtin YMCA
In 1966 the Camp Curtin Branch in uptown Harrisburg opened the doors to its new facility on 6th Street after a distinguished heritage as the former Forster Street YMCA. Youth and community programs occupy the space at the Camp Curtin Y, including before and after school programs, a preschool program, sports and education activities, and much more. The Y also oversees an affordable housing program in the form of the YMCA Harrisburg Cornerstone Initiative, LLC.
East Shore YMCA
The East Shore Branch of the Harrisburg Area YMCA was completed in 1932 and sits on the banks of the Susquehanna River. This full-service facility is a treasured part of the skyline of Harrisburg City. Formerly known as the Central Branch, this location has meticulously maintained its historic architecture while updating the interior for modern use. The aquatics facility, wellness center, weight room, classrooms, and gymnasiums host activities and programs for every interest. Full-day child development services and the Resident Program are run in this facility. The Residence includes 86 dormitory rooms and provides living quarters for at-risk men. While in residence at the East Shore YMCA, residents are connected with social services and housing assistance by a dedicated case worker.
The Friendship Branch of the Harrisburg Area YMCA is the newest addition to the Association. Formerly the Friendship Community Center, the Friendship YMCA is a collaboration between Lower Paxton Township and the YMCA. The Friendship Y opened on January 18, 2021, and includes an aerobics studio, classrooms, gymnasium, locker rooms, large family aquatics center, a walking track, spinasium, and a wellness center for both weights and cardio. In just one year of operation, the Friendship YMCA has welcomed over 3,500 new units representing nearly 7,000 members. The location also oversees school-age and half-day kindergarten programs for 12 schools offsite and houses a pre-school program for ages 3-5 onsite.
Northern Dauphin County YMCA
The Northern Dauphin County YMCA was organized in 1985 and opened its new facility in 1994. The only full facility located in northern Dauphin County, the YMCA provides mentoring, school- age care, full-day child development, health and wellness, and intervention services throughout the region. The facility in Elizabethville has undergone multiple renovations and updates to keep up with the expanding needs of the community. In addition, the YMCA manages drug & alcohol prevention and education programs for youth in collaboration with Dauphin County.
West Shore YMCA
In 1952, the West Shore Branch was founded as a program center in Camp Hill, across the Susquehanna River from Harrisburg city. It administered two facilities in that community until 1972 when the full-service facility was established on Fallowfield Road. The branch provides ample space for the community to gather and grow together, hosting blood drives and senior events frequently. The branch hosts a robust half-day kindergarten program where kids can enjoy all the Y has to offer outside of school hours. School-age childcare is managed at 18 offsite locations, and a busy schedule of sports allows youth of all interests to find their niche. Additionally, the branch has a diverse schedule of adult wellness activities, a wellness center, a teen wellness center, a weight room, group fitness, and a four pool aquatics facility.
YMCA Center for Healthy Living
Founded in 2016, the YMCA Center for Healthy Living is located in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and facilitates programs in central Pennsylvania and beyond. The vision of the Center is to provide programming and community to those suffering with chronic diseases, and to help educate the community about healthy habits that prevent chronic diseases from taking hold.
The Harrisburg Area YMCA has an extensive history of leading tobacco cessation programs, nutrition classes, and many other healthy lifestyle services. The YMCA expanded its healthy living initiatives by offering the CDC National Diabetes Prevention Program and dramatically expanded the scope of its tobacco cessation program; it then initiated the LIVESTRONG® at the YMCA program to serve cancer survivors. Most recently YCHL has led initiatives to bring health services to underserved communities throughout Pennsylvania through their Healthy Equity Tour. This tour went to nearly all the counties in Pennsylvania, promoting vaccination, wellness, and brought in food resources to help citizens grow and thrive.
The YMCA Harrisburg Cornerstone Initiative, LLC.
The YMCA Harrisburg Cornerstone Initiative is an affordable housing effort by the YMCA centered on creating housing opportunities in the economically distressed area of Uptown Harrisburg. The purpose of this project is to eliminate blighted vacant lots, reduce crime and create a newfound pride in the community surrounding the Camp Curtin YMCA by providing new opportunities for home ownership to low-income families. The first phase of the YHCI broke ground in October of 2021, and construction is ongoing at the site. The first phase includes four townhomes with occupancy expected by the summer of 2022.
About the Y
The Y is one of the nation’s leading nonprofits strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility. Deeply rooted in the local community since 1854, the Harrisburg Area YMCA engages individuals and families through programs, services, and events across our 5 branches and the YMCA Center for Healthy Living. A trusted community partner for 167 years, the Harrisburg Area YMCA has the long-standing relationships and physical presence not just to promise, but to deliver, lasting personal and social change. The Harrisburg Area YMCA is a proud recipient of a 5-star rating from Charity Navigator.
The Harrisburg Area YMCA is the region’s largest provider of health and wellness services, before-and after-school childcare and swim lessons. Our service area includes Dauphin, Perry, and Cumberland counties, with additional communities served through program sites in Northern York County. The Y nurtures the potential of children and teens, improves our community’s health and well-being, and provides opportunities to give back and support neighbors.
Programs and offerings vary by location and include, but are not limited to:
- Active Older Adults
- Afterschool, Preschool, Infant Care, Toddler Care, Y Guides
- Aquatics, Swim Lessons, Swim Teams, Safety Around Water
- Diverse Abilities Programs
- Health Equity Initiatives
- Health & Wellness, Fitness, Group Exercise, Adult Athletics
- Summer Day Camps
- Teen Programs, Leadership Clubs, Y Achievers, Mentoring
- YMCA Race Series
- Youth Sports, Creative Arts, Dance, Gymnastics
- Subsidized SRO Housing, New Home Construction
The YMCA consists of approximately 538 team members: 35 exempt, 64 FT non-exempt and 439 PT. Our team member demographics are as follows:
Unidentified/Opt Out 0%
Black or African American 18%
Hispanic or Latino 4%
Two or More Races 2%
Unidentified/Opt Out 1%
In 2017, the Board of Directors of the Harrisburg Area YMCA commissioned a Strategic Planning Committee to lead the process of revisiting and updating our strategic plan. The Committee met for a series of planning sessions prior to a Board/Staff Planning Retreat. This is a “living” strategy road map; the Y is committed to long-term impact and recognizes the need to continuously review this plan. The YMCA is committed to adapting its strategies as the environment in the greater Harrisburg area changes.
While Covid-19 greatly impacted some of the objectives and timelines in the strategic plan, many of the new initiatives undertaken by the staff and volunteers can be traced back to the original document. Collaboration, partnership, and growth resulted in a new operating unit (YHCI, LLC), a new property east of the Capital Beltway (Friendship YMCA), and various other efforts related to the feeding, assistance, and aid of those most impacted by the pandemic.
COVID-19 has had a significant financial impact on our YMCA. However, our cash position is strong, and we continue to closely monitor operations and expenses. As of 2/28/22 we have
$2.4 million in cash and cash equivalents, $4.2 million in BOD designated marketable securities and endowments. Designated endowments total $378,000 at 1/31/22.
Membership has grown from 7,242 units at 1/31/21 to 11,829 at 1/31/22, an increase of 63%. Our January 2022 membership level represents 89% of our pre-COVID membership at our previously existing branches. Our newest branch, the Friendship YMCA was added in January 2021 and contributed 3,273 units to the total active membership as of 1/31/22. Day camp is expected to be strong this year and registrations for fall programming in Afterschool are anticipated to be robust.
Year Operating RevenueSurplus (Deficit)
2019 $13,955,856 ($294,199)
2020 $10,069,503 ($1,460,967)
2021 $16,302,931 $2,855,729
2022 (Forecast)$15,017,000 $0
The information above is derived from the YMCA’s internal operating statements, including depreciation, capital repairs & maintenance, and debt service. Depreciation in 2021 was
$991,689, on-going debt service (P&I) is $546,216 and capital repairs & maintenance was approximately $400,000 in 2019 and 2020 and increased to around $480,000 in 2021 and
$420,000 in 2022. Non-operating items such as gains/losses on endowments and trusts are excluded from this information.
The YMCA is a leading charity in the greater Harrisburg area with over 1,200 individual donors giving annually and key partnerships established with area foundations and corporations.
- $725,000 goal in 2020; raised $734,018
- $725,000 goal in 2021; raised $681,511
- 2022 Annual Campaign: $725,000 goal, currently fundraising
- Last Association-Wide Campaign: 2008
- Last Branch-Specific Campaign: 2009
- 2020 $1,358,308
- 2021 $1,990,198
- 2022 Forecast$3,224,500
2021 Year-end Impact
The Harrisburg Area YMCA’s Youth Development programs span three counties and over a dozen sites, including our Child Development Centers, partner school districts, summer camp sites, and all five of our membership branches. We believe every child deserves access to the best resources to help them learn and grow, and no family should be denied that access because of an inability to pay.
- We provided over $57,000 for families in need of childcare fee assistance in 2021
- We served over 2,000 children in our School Age Childcare, Child Development Centers, Preschools, and Half-Day Kindergarten Programs in 2021
- We served over 6,700 youth and teens through membership, programs, and services throughout 2021
Our YMCA is committed to more than just providing a place to keep your body healthy - we want to keep the whole community healthy! Families and individuals are offered scholarships based on need to ensure that all who wish to join can do so. We are so proud to be a place where children learn to swim, families come to get healthy, and seniors stay connected. Throughout the year, we have seen more need than ever before, and have provided services and programs to help bring our community together.
- We provided over $168,000 in membership assistance in 2021
- Our members scanned into our buildings over 400,000 times in 2021
- Our members participated in over 6,000 virtual wellness sessions in 2021
Our community is still feeling the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, and our YMCAs have shifted our focus in several key areas to meet changing needs. The YMCA Harrisburg Cornerstone Initiative broke ground on Phase 1 of their affordable housing project in Uptown Harrisburg, our YMCAs have managed food programs and hosted blood drives throughout the year, and the YMCA Center for Healthy Living provided services across the state on their Health Equity Tour. Providing resources to our community is more important than ever.
- We hosted 26 vaccination clinics that resulted in 460 COVID-19 vaccinations with our partner YMCAs across Pennsylvania in 2021
- In 2021, we provided over $109,000 in housing assistance scholarship
- We served over 200,000 meals to our community in 2021
Advantages to the Harrisburg Area
The Harrisburg region has experienced rapid growth in the past 10 years, and has been recognized by Realtor.com as one of the top 10 cities for new graduates to live, and by USNews.com as one of the 100 best places to live. Harrisburg is the capital city of
the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and the county seat of Dauphin County. With a population of 50,099 as of the 2020 census, Harrisburg is the 15th largest city in Pennsylvania.
Harrisburg lies on the east bank of the Susquehanna River. It is the largest of two anchor cities of the Harrisburg–Carlisle metropolitan statistical area, also known as the Susquehanna Valley, which had a 2020 population of 591,712, making it the fourth most populous metropolitan area in Pennsylvania.
In 2010 Forbes rated Harrisburg as the second-best place in the U.S. to raise a family. Despite the city's past financial troubles, in 2017 The Daily Beast website ranked 20 metropolitan areas across the country as being recession-proof, and the Harrisburg region was ranked 7th. The financial stability of the region is in part due to the high concentration of state and federal government agencies.
The Harrisburg area is conveniently located with reasonable driving distances of 90 minutes to Baltimore, two hours to Philadelphia, three hours to New York City, and three and a half hours to Pittsburgh.
Quality of Life
Harrisburg residents love to socialize and celebrate; as a result, the community calendar is full of events. Community events range from holiday parades to huge outdoor street festivals and cultural celebrations along the banks of the beautiful Susquehanna River. Pennsylvania is home to a variety of craft beer, wine, and liquor producers. Over 30 craft beer producers call the Harrisburg area home, providing a wide variety of locations to enjoy a night out with friends. In nearby Hershey, you can take in premiere entertainment at the Giant Center throughout the year attracting some of the biggest names in the entertainment industry.
Enjoy Hersheypark’s over 70 rides and attractions including 14 coasters and an 11-acre water park! Even miniature members can ride on 20 kiddie rides located throughout the park. Say hello to the friendly animals at ZooAmerica® North American Wildlife Park, located next door to Hersheypark. There are more than underground caves at Echo Dell – Indian Echo Caverns. Above ground, you can visit their seasonal petting zoo and try your hand at gem mining.
SPORTS & EVENTS
Experience a little outdoor adventure or let the family competition heat up at these active attractions. Adventure Sports in Hershey has seven attractions including outdoor laser tag, batting cages, bumper boats, and a driving range. Water Golf on City Island is the area’s most scenic mini-golf course with panoramic views of the Susquehanna River, beautiful course landscaping, and dozens of ice cream flavors for a post-game celebration. Root, root, root for the Harrisburg Senators Baseball team at their island stadium in Harrisburg or for the Hershey Bears at the Giant Center in Hershey.
ARTS & CULTURE
Harrisburg has an abundance of art, and our collections appeal to art lovers and apprentice admirers alike. From beautiful, curated galleries like the Susquehanna Art Museum to the historical (and free to browse) Art Association of Harrisburg, you’ll find an assortment of pieces in a variety of styles and themes that speaks to our region's versatile, artistic creativity. On a mission to beautify the city with colorful and cultural street art, Sprocket Mural Works has sponsored dozens of urban art projects, from four-story building mosaics to painted electrical boxes that provide a pop of color on every block. Best of all, the art in Harrisburg is approachable, and our city’s artisans want you to know that art is for everyone to enjoy.
The National Civil War Museum atop its perch in Reservoir Park in Harrisburg is one of the largest in the world that’s dedicated solely to the American Civil War. If you’re into cars, don’t miss the cars, trucks, buses, motorcycles, and memorabilia of the past at AACA Museum, Inc., an impressive Smithsonian-affiliated Museum in Hershey. The State Museum of Pennsylvania, with its considerable collections that fill three floors of exhibits, includes everything you ever wanted to learn about Pennsylvania, and then some.
OUTDOORS & ADVENTURE
Acres of serene natural settings provide the perfect backdrop for a beautiful day outdoors. Wildwood Park in Harrisburg is an urban oasis with nature trails where you’re sure to spot some wildlife in and around the lake. Fort Hunter Park provides green space and beautiful views of the Susquehanna River in a location steeped in Harrisburg history. From here you can get a great photo of the Rockville Bridge, the longest stone masonry arch railroad bridge in the world. Little Buffalo State Park offers eight miles of hiking trails as well as swimming, picnicking, boating, camping, fishing, and more! Enjoy the nearby Appalachian Trail and choose from many other rails & trails options throughout the region.
For more on things to do in the Harrisburg region, read more at Visit HersheyHarrisburg.org.
Other sites for information:
Pennsylvania State Alliance of YMCAs
The Pennsylvania State Alliance of YMCAs consists of all 60 associations and 108 branches located in communities across the Commonwealth. The Pennsylvania State Alliance of YMCAs helps YMCAs across the state connect on issues to expand their reach in their community and beyond.
Allen Childs – CEO, Melanie Roth – Consultant