The YMCA of the Greater Tri-Cities is one of the Tri-City area’s leading nonprofit organizations strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. The Y nurtures the development of children and teens, equips and encourages people to improve their health and well-being and mobilizes volunteers and community partners to address critical social needs. Founded in 1956 as the Lower Columbia Basin YMCA, the Y has grown and evolved to meet the needs of the local community. We enhance the lives of more than 8,500 people annually through 3 branches and more than 14 program sites throughout the Tri-Cities.
The local YMCA has a colorful and varied history. The 1950’s and 60’s included programs like Tri-Hi-Y, Youth Employment Education, and even Childbirth Classes. The YMCA was an integral part of the community with one person in 20 belonging. The YMCA responded to community needs by building a full facility with a pool and gym and by introducing programming like Indian Guides, Adventure Clubs and Ski School. The name changed to the Tri-Cities Family YMCA to reflect its place in the community.
Throughout the 80’s, the Tri-Cities Family YMCA determined that it could best meet challenges and serve a more diversified population throughout the entire region by selling the property and becoming a non-facility YMCA. Non-facility status opened the door for partnerships with community agencies and helped develop programs such as Day Camps, Child Care and Youth Sports. As the Y became integrated into the entire region, the name YMCA of the Greater Tri-Cities was adopted.
Throughout the years, the name, location and faces have changed but the YMCA remains a community pillar with over 50 years experience growing programs and satisfying recreational needs for kids and families. The YMCA of the Greater Tri-Cities has grown its budget from a couple hundred dollars to 1.5 million, and expanded from a Y run exclusively by volunteers to today’s count of more than 80 employees.