The Founding Years
1800 – 1900
The first YMCA was conceived in industrial London in 1844 when a farmer-turned-department store worker and his friends gathered to organize a refuge for young men seeking escape from the hazards of the streets. Today, the Y still harkens back to its roots in creating safe, enriching spaces for communities across the globe.
Once again, the Y played an instrumental role in times of crises during the 2000s, providing essential services and support when and where it was needed most. We also adapted to the evolving landscape of health and well-being with new programs and partnerships designed to support generational changes in young people and modern-day families.
Our Historical Logos
More on Who We Are
The Y has grown exponentially over the span of our rich history, but our mission of putting Christian principles into practice through programs that build healthy spirit, mind and body for all has remained constant.
Our vision continues to evolve as we strive to increase our impact in youth development, healthy living and social responsibility in the U.S. and across the globe.
For more than 170+ years, the Y has been building spirit, mind and body for all. We know that strong people build strong communities – because we are all better together.