Creating Positive Impact on Valley Families

The Valley YMCA has been a mainstay in the community since it was established in 1866.

In 2009 the Valley YMCA became one of 12 branches of the Central Connecticut Coast YMCA based in New Haven. It is located at 12 State St. in Ansonia and offers a Summer Fun Club (pictured above) as part of its youth development programming. Photo courtesy of the Valley YMCA.

Modern-day YMCAs are more than simply "swim and gym" facilities. The nonprofit organizations serve infants to senior citizens in a variety of important ways, Valley YMCA executive director Barbara Moore says.

Moore, who has served as executive director since 2014, says the Valley YMCA has been a mainstay in the community since it was established in 1866. There are 10 full-time employees. Its goals are to:

  • reduce chronic homelessness;
  • increase child safety around the water;
  • close the education achievement gap;
  • provide opportunities for teens;
  • strengthen family health and well-being.

One way the Valley YMCA achieves its goals is through fundraising and applying for grants to help subsidize fees for individuals and families so that everyone can take advantage of the multitude of programs available. The Valley YMCA offers financial assistance based on a sliding scale depending on household income.

In 2013, the Valley YMCA received a three-year, $75,000 responsive grant from The Valley Community Foundation, which is affiliated with The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven. The nonprofit has used the funding for youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility.

"The grant allows us to help multiple families and multiple youths so we really have a positive impact in the Valley," Moore says.

Funding from The Valley Community Foundation has also enabled children to attend summer camp and after-school care and has supported adult housing. The Valley YMCA provides 26 single-room occupancy units for single males. The units are rented at affordable rates, and the Y works with the men to help them access services from other agencies.

A youth development program known as the Leaders Club was started in September 2015 at Ansonia Middle School. The students are bused to the Valley YMCA after school once a week. The Y wants the Club members to have input in the activities they choose. Moore says a pre-survey was done with the teen members to find out what they wanted to do; they chose to collect food for the needy around the holidays and learned about giving back to the community and taking responsibility.

The Y also offers a diabetes prevention program for people who are diagnosed with pre-diabetes or who have risk factors, Moore says. Seven adults were able to participate through "sponsorships" thanks to Foundation funding. The full cost of the evidence-based program is $429 per year.

Moore says 63 percent of youth and high school facility members receive monthly financial assistance, and 48 percent of family facility members receive aid.

To learn more about the Valley YMCA and support its programs, visit its profile on®.

Did you know?

The YMCA's mission is "To put Judeo-Christian principles into practice through programs that build a healthy spirit, mind, and body for all."

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