January 02, 2014

When we talk about Youth Development, Healthy Living and Social Responsibility, nothing highlights the heart of the Y’s mission better than our 11 Outreach Ys. The fact is, not all Ys are created equal. Nearly half serve financially challenged communities such as Pine Hills, South Orlando, Kissimmee and Titusville where families are under tremendous stress.

Enter the Y of Central Florida. With the support of Dr. Phillips Charities, Winter Park Health Foundation, Wayne Densch Charities, Orange County Government, Darden, Lockheed Martin, and other supporters, investors and donors, we’ve created beautiful, prideful facilities.

Places that anchor communities, make people feel welcome and give them a sense of belonging.

These Ys also instill values in kids, help families de-stress and connect and empower everyone to improve their health and wellness.

Ours is not a short-term or “niche” commitment. The Y has been a solid, sustaining presence in these communities for 20 years or more. And we’re there to stay: 24/7, 365 days per year, year after year.

As work begins on the Y’s long-term strategic plan, one of our top priorities is to secure permanent, sustainable funding to expand our Outreach Mission. And in doing so, we will create a legacy of caring, leadership and Social Responsibility for generations to come.

Ferber signature_blue

Jim Ferber President
CEO YMCA of Central Florida

 

STRENGTHENING AT-RISK KIDS, FAMILIES AND COMMUNITIES 

 

 

Tangelo Park YMCATangelo Park YMCA
Free and Accessible to All
If ever an at-risk community needed a Y, it’s Tangelo Park where more than 1,000 residents receive FREE YMCA access 365 days per year. And we do it with no outside sources of funding. With many residents working in low-wage service jobs, the Y’s swimming pool, wellness floor and Links2Learning Golf Center help families reduce stress, combat chronic disease and keep their children safe. Through the YMCA Teen Achiever program we also provide the extra mentoring and support kids need to stay out of trouble, graduate on time and pursue successful careers.

 

South OrlandoDSC_3551 YMCA
Breaking Down Barriers in the Oak Ridge/SOBT Corridor
In a community where juvenile crime is high and language barriers isolate residents, the resource-rich South Orlando YMCA is an oasis of safety and connection for those living in the Oak Ridge Road/South Orange Blossom Trail Corridor. Located next to Oak Ridge High School and an Orange County Park, it’s truly at the center of the community. With a special focus on youth, we also offer a Head Start early learning program, as well as quality after school, summer and weekend programs for keeping  kids safe and well-supervised. Through the YMCA/Lockheed Martin Technology Center and the Y Links2Learning Golf Center, we also teach the values, reading, math and science skills kids need to do well in school and prevent bullying and school violence.

 

Osceola YMCAOsceola YMCA
Combatting Youth Violence, Family Stress and Childhood Obesity
High rates of foreclosure, unemployment and poverty continue to impact the Kissimmee area, which is home to people who speak dozens of different languages. Youth gangs and juvenile violence are also major concerns, as is childhood obesity. With fully two-thirds of Osceola kids considered overweight or obese, they’re at higher risk for serious health, social and behavioral issues, including bullying. Because the best solutions always begin at home, we work hard to strengthen local families. Through top-notch programs and facilities, we empower them to reduce stress, build stronger bonds and improve their health and wellness.

 

DSC_2207Cocoa YMCA at Eastern Florida State College
Uniting a Community in Crisis
With 8,000 jobs lost due to the end of the Space Shuttle program, Cocoa and the entire Space Coast Region are struggling. To prevent family stress from spiraling out of control, the Y last year awarded $115,000 in scholarships for summer camp, youth sports and family memberships.

 

It’s a commitment dating back to 2003 when we first partnered with Brevard Community College to operate its pool and gym. Since then, the facility has grown into a full-fledged YMCA Family Center that anchors the entire Cocoa community.          

 

 

Suntree YMCA exteriorSuntree YMCA
Responding to Need on the Space Coast 
Since 2001, the Suntree YMCA has been serving youth and family needs in Central Brevard County. With 51% of all Brevard elementary students eligible for free or reduced lunch, we know we have a unique responsibility to help. Last year, $245,000 in scholarships were awarded for youth, family, and health and wellness programs. And with discussions underway to possibly build a new Y in Viera, we’re looking to deepen our commitment even further.

 

Titusville YMCATitusville YMCA
Deepening Roots as Other Nonprofits Close
With NASA layoffs and a flagging economy forcing the closure of many local schools, businesses and nonprofits, the Y of Central Florida is digging in deeper than ever to strengthen this fragile community. Since assuming leadership of the Titusville Y in 2001, we have continually improved and modernized it through the addition of an Easy Access Pool, a beautiful wellness center, cycling studio, gym and more. Our mission and commitment are clear: Provide rich resources, strong support and a prideful, welcoming place where residents can join together, reduce stress and support one another in difficult times.

 

WayneDenschmainWayne Densch YMCA
Revitalizing an Entire Community
As Pine Hills works to improve its health, safety and social capital, the Wayne Densch YMCA continues to be a strong partner in strengthening this striving community. In addition to providing a safe haven where kids can play sports, learn values and benefit from role models, the Y features first-rate soccer fields, indoor gyms, a modern wellness floor and the area’s only community swimming pool. To combat the community’s high rate of diabetes, the Y is also partnering to banish “food deserts” ─ places where a lack of fresh, affordable food contributes to chronic disease.

South Lake County YMCASouth Lake County YMCA
Strong partner in Good Times and Bad
When Clermont’s population skyrocketed during the building boom, the Y stepped forward to provide strong family friendly programs. But when the boom went bust, the Y stayed committed. In addition to providing top-notch soccer fields and wellness facilities, we also awarded more than $73,000 last year in scholarships for youth sports, summer camp, teen activities and more.