YMCA of Greater Houston Area

Rating: 1.75 stars   4 reviews

Issues: Human Services, Religion, Sports

Location: PO Box 3007 Houston TX 77253 USA

Mission: Founded in 1883, YMCAs collectively make up the largest nonprofit community service organization in America. YMCAs are at the heart of community life in neighborhoods and towns across the nation. They work to meet the health and social service needs of 16.9 million men, women and children. Ys help people develop values and behavior that are consistent with Christian principles. Ys are for people of all faiths, races, abilities, ages and incomes. No one is turned away for inability to pay. YMCAs'' strength is in the people they bring together. In the average Y, a volunteer board sets policy for its executive, who manages the operation with full-time and part-time staff and volunteer leaders. Ys meet local community needs through organized activities called programs. In its own way, every Y nurtures the healthy development of children and teens; strengthens families; and makes its community a healthier, safer, better place to live. YMCA programs are tools for building the values of caring, honesty, respect and responsibility. Longtime leaders in community-based health and fitness and aquatics, Ys teach kids to swim, offer exercise classes for people with disabilities and lead adult aerobics. They also offer hundreds of other programs in response to community needs, including camping, child care (the Y movement is the nation''s largest not-for-profit provider), teen clubs, environmental programs, substance abuse prevention, youth sports, family nights, job training, international exchange and many more. Organization: Each YMCA is a charitable nonprofit, qualifying under Section 501(c)(3) of the U.S. Tax Code. Each is independent. YMCAs are required by the national constitution to pay annual dues, to refrain from discrimination and to support the YMCA mission. All other decisions are local choices, including programs offered, staffing and style of operation. The national office, called the YMCA of the USA, is in Chicago, with Field offices in California, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Ohio, Indiana, Minnesota and Texas. It is staffed by 241 employees. Its purpose is to serve member associations. International: YMCAs are at work in more than 120 countries around the world, serving more than 30 million people. Some 230 local US Ys maintain more than 370 relationships with Ys in other countries, operate international programs and contribute to YMCA work worldwide through the YMCA World Service campaign. Like other national YMCA movements, the YMCA of the USA is a member of the World Alliance of YMCAs, headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland. History: The YMCA was founded in London, England, in 1844 by George Williams and about a dozen friends who lived and worked as clerks in a drapery a forerunner of dry-goods and department stores. Their goal was to help young men like themselves find God. The first members were evangelical Protestants who prayed and studied the Bible as an alternative to vice. The Y movement has always been nonsectarian and today accepts those of all faiths at all levels of the organization, despite its unchanging name, the Young Men''s Christian Association. The first U.S. YMCA started in Boston in 1851, the work of Thomas Sullivan, a retired sea captain who was a lay missionary. Ys spread fast and soon were serving boys and older men as well as young men. Although 5,145 women worked in YMCA military canteens in World War I, it wasn''t until after World War II that women and girls were admitted to full membership and participation in the US YMCAs. Today half of all YMCA members and program members are female, and half are under age 18.
Programs: The YMCA serves all people, regardless of their ability to pay, with programs that develop the spirit, mind, and body. YMCA provides traditional day care, an after school enrichment program, and day camp activities. YMCA also offers programs designed to develop the spirit, mind and body through cardiovascular and muscular activity.

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Community Reviews

Rating: 1 stars  

Senior citizens become persona-non-grata at the Weekley Y. Recently our evening water aerobics class was eliminated. In addition, the events and attitudes that led up to cutting this 10 year old program made many of us feel marginalized and discriminated against. We have a brand new pool that no one uses, while the one we use is taken away. I blame poor planning, and a lack of sensitivity for the aging for the demise of this much need program.

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

None

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

No

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Badly

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

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Rating: 3 stars  

I loved the YMCA in Pearland. I had been a member for 16 years, and enjoyed their pool and workout/weight facilities. But due to continued monthly membership rate increases, I was finally forced to go elsewhere. No one seemed to question why the Houston Area YMCA's pay 55% of there gross operating revenues in salaries. Most of these facilities are run by part-time minumum wage college students. They must pay the top administrative people who run these branch quite well. My membership fee had doubled during the 16 years I was a member, and no one seems to ask why? Thats more than the inflation rate. Yes they offer reduced membership rates for people below a certain income level, but just try and qualify. I question whether they should even be allowed to operate as a non-profit organization. Members are asked to fund the salaries of the few.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

No

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

A lot

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 2 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

My family has been members or employees of the YMCA and YWCA for over 90 years. Although the “Y” is a non-profit, we like to have reasonably nice facilities. Fundamentally nothing is free. Ys cost money to operate. Those that pay nothing to use the facilities often don’t take care of the facilities because they have no vested interest. Each the summer our local Y pool becomes a real cesspool. Overcrowded, and utterly revolting. Those that create the situation are freeloaders. As a devote Christian I am all about charity… for those that respect the gift and themselves contribute labor where possible. The Y should not simply be a dumping ground for ill behaved children while their mother takes off to visit a “friend”.

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Some

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Unsure

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Okay

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

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Rating: 1 stars  

3 people found this review helpful

I think when Organizations grow so much they lost the Mission. I realized the YMCA is not for all people withouth an income or a job can't have services at the YMCA. There is not any free program for the low income communities. I have see so many low income people get to the YMCA and not be able to get services for their children. I think they should run the YMCA like a bussiness not like a Nonprofit Organization. Is totaly about money not ablout people.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Frustration because I refer people and they did not help them

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Ask them to review their Mission and run like a nonrpofit or take a way their status and run like a bussiness

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