About Us

FOR YOUTH DEVELOPMENT, HEALTHY LIVING, AND SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY

At the Y, we believe a strong community can only be achieved when we invest in our kids, our health, and our neighbors.

We offer programs and services to enable youth to realize their potential, help adults commit to a healthy lifestyle, and connect older adults to a community. As a charity, the Y gives back over $14 million a year in financial assistance and subsidized programs to make sure that everyone can access life-changing programs at the Y.

OUR MISSION

To put Christian principles into practice through programs that build a healthy spirit, mind, and body for all.

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OUR IMPACT

At the Y, we provide programs and services to help youth and adults thrive in every season of life.

The Y is a cause-driven nonprofit focused on three areas of impact: youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility.

YOUTH DEVELOPMENT

The Y nurtures the potential of every child and teen by supporting their unique youth development journey through holistic programming. From childcare to teen leadership, the Y provides youth with the tools and resources they need to succeed in life.

Ariel"I really like the hard [climbs] because the more I do it, the more I get stronger." - Ariel


HEALTHY LIVING

The Y aims to improve the nation's health and well-being by providing programs and activities that promote wellness, reduce risk for disease and help others reclaim their health. These programs and everything else the Y does are in service of making us—our Ys and our communities—better.

Joy, Tom Taylor Family YMCA member."It’s been really good to work at my own pace and work up to a place where I feel comfortable and throw in a challenge here and there. I feel good, I feel strong, and I feel a lot more confident than I used to." - Joy


SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY

We know that when we work together, we move individuals, families, and communities forward. The Y responds to society’s most pressing needs by developing innovative, community-based solutions to help those in need to reach their full potential. We are also committed to inspiring a spirit of service by uniting individuals from all walks of life to participate in and work for positive social change.

The Wilson Family"Even if the Y didn't offer free memberships to foster children, we would still bring the kids to the Y." - Wilson Family


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OUR HISTORY

YMCA Boys Go to Camp Seymour, 1924. Photo courtesy of the Tacoma Public Library Northwest Room.

For 175 years, the Y has worked to strengthen the foundations of community. The YMCA was founded in 1844 by 22-year-old George Williams to serve the young men who were flooding into industrial London looking for work. Over the following decades, the Y spread around the world, becoming the birthplace of basketball and home to the world's first group swimming lessons. The Y sent volunteers to do relief work during and after both world wars and in the United States, African American YMCAs provided safe meeting spaces for the organizers of the Civil Rights Movement.

The YMCA in Tacoma was organized in 1883. In 1905, local philanthropist W.W. Seymour donated the land that would eventually become Camp Seymour to the Tacoma YMCA. In 1910, the Y opened its first facility in downtown Tacoma on Market Street.

In 1969, John Morgan was hired by the Board of Directors to take the Y in a new direction, building a new facility that would eventually become the Morgan Family YMCA on Pearl Street and transforming the Y into an organization that served the whole family in spirit, mind, and body.

In response to gang violence in the Hilltop, the Y launched Teen Late Nite in 1991 to give teenagers a safe place to engage with their peers and learn the YMCA values of caring, honesty, respect, and responsibility on Friday nights. Today, thousands of teens attend Late Nite across Pierce and Kitsap Counties and the Y has expanded teen programs to help youth grow up to be responsible community leaders.

For over a century, the Y has adapted to the changing needs of our community. From chronic disease prevention to summer day camp, the Y provides programs and services to help everyone reach their potential.

OUR COMMITMENT TO THE COMMUNITY

At the Y, everyone is welcome.

NON-DISCRIMINATION, DIVERSITY, AND INCLUSION

The YMCA of Pierce and Kitsap Counties is an organization that embraces nondiscrimination, diversity, and inclusion. We welcome all people regardless of ability, age, background, ethnicity/ race, faith, gender, gender identity, gender expression, or sexual orientation. The Y believes that, in a diverse world, we are stronger when we are inclusive, when our doors are open to all, and when everyone has the opportunity to learn, grow, and thrive.

As our laws and communities continue to change, one thing is constant: the YMCA is, and always will be, a place where individuals and families from all walks of life are welcome and where they may learn, grow, and thrive – together.

CHILD SAFETY

The YMCA of Pierce and Kitsap Counties works hard to keep our kids safe. We require a complete criminal, personal and professional background check of each staff and volunteer member. Additionally, all members and guests who enter a YMCA facility are immediately screened through a local and national sex offender registry.

Here are some additional practices that the YMCA has in place to protect children in our care:

  • Not only all staff, but also all volunteers, must read and follow our child abuse prevention policy. Our policy is strict: it prohibits a YMCA staff person or volunteer from being alone with a child where they cannot be observed by others.
  • All staff and volunteers are required to participate in training about the prevention of child abuse, identifying the signs of abuse and reporting suspected abuse incidents. Staff renew this training every year. Staff and volunteers in direct service with children are required to undergo additional child abuse prevention trainings.
  • If any YMCA staff member or volunteer becomes aware of any incident of suspected child abuse, they are required to report the incident to the Washington Department of Social and Health Services immediately for investigation and follow up.
  • Every month, our membership database is screened for sex offenders using a national database. Results are reviewed by YMCA staff every quarter and, if needed, appropriate action is taken immediately.

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