A Place for Youth at the New Haven Y

No matter their age, children and teenagers have a place at the New Haven YMCA Youth Center.
Children on the steps of the New Haven YMCA Youth Center. Photo provided by Central Coast YMCA.

No matter their age, children, and teenagers have a place at the New Haven YMCA Youth Center. It's home to a preschool for young children and offers afterschool programming for elementary school-aged youth. And for teenagers, the center opens its doors for free walk-in access to its gym, game room, and other facilities.

"We're trying to offer a lot of different things to get kids off their screens and out of their houses and be active," says Executive Director Emily Jackson. "We have more and more programming coming all the time."

Homework help, dance classes, basketball, and swimming are some of the programs offered at the youth center. Several of the staff supervisors were themselves members of the Howe Street facility when they were young, says Jackson, and share a lifelong passion for the place.

"We're trying to help build the whole person in spirit, in mind, and in body," says Jackson.

The New Haven YMCA youth center is a branch of the Central Connecticut Coast YMCA, which dates back to 1859. Making programs accessible and affordable to youth and families regardless of their ability to pay is part of the organization's core mission. While the New Haven YMCA Youth Center does not offer adult memberships, other area branches can be found here.

The New Haven YMCA Youth Center is funded by a variety of sources in including grants from corporations and foundations. The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven has been a supporter of the drop-in program. The center also receives school readiness funding for the preschool.

The YMCA has made recent investments in the New Haven facility, having recently replaced the lockers and installed new flooring.

"We're definitely behind making the place grow and thrive for the youth of New Haven," says Jackson.

To learn more about the New Haven YMCA Youth Center, visit its profile on giveGreater.org.

Did you Know?

YMCAs in New England have membership reciprocity. Members at one YMCA can use any other YMCA facility in New England.

This story is part of the Inspiration Monday story series produced by The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven.