YMCA Branch Name

For Youth Development
For Healthy Living
For Social Development

The YMCA in the United States

Today, the Y engages more than 10,000 neighborhoods across the U.S. As the nation’s leading nonprofit committed to helping people and communities to learn, grow and thrive, our contributions are both far-reaching and intimate—from influencing our nation’s culture during times of profound social change to the individual support we provide an adult learning to read.

By nurturing the potential of every child and teen, improving the nation’s health and well-being, and supporting and serving our neighbors, the Y ensures that everyone has the opportunity to become healthier, more confident, connected and secure. The YMCA of Paterson is honored to be apart of the National YMCA.


MISSION OF THE YMCA OF PATERSON

The YMCA of Paterson is a non-profit 501 (c) (3) organization that promotes values through programs that build healthy spirit, mind, and body through educational, recreational, and residential programs for people of all ages.  The primary purpose of the YMCA of Paterson has always been to serve youth and their families.

 

A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE YMCA OF PATERSON

The roots of the YMCA of Paterson are buried deep in the history of the “Silk City.”  During our nation’s tragic Civil War, several young men gathered in a local congregational church, wrote a constitution and, according to one contemporary source, planned ”an interesting course of social, intellectual, and spiritual exercises.”

From its early beginning in 1863 until 1867, the YMCA of Paterson seemed to alternate between periods of great popularity and community involvement and intervals of inactivity and public appeals for membership.

The first YMCA of Paterson building was located at 20-202 Market Street.  The facility offered a gym, bible classes, a reading room, and an “employment bureau.”

In 1892, the YMCA of Paterson moved into the former Cooke home on Ellison Street.  Mrs. Sarah E. Cooke had donated her elegant mansion to the YMCA of Paterson in memory of her late husband John Cooke of the renowned locomotive firm Danforth & Cooke.   A building containing bath, bowling alleys, a gymnasium, and an assembly hall was erected behind this facility.

Paterson’s historic 1902 fire destroyed the YMCA of Paterson building on Ellison Street, but a new facility was soon erected at 137 Ellison Street.  The new facility boasted dormitories, a swimming pool, track, and a library.  Services included assistance to immigrants and fund-raising for American military forces during World War I.

Our present YMCA headquarters opened on September 14, 1930.  This facility was constructed when the 137 Ellison Street location became too small to accommodate the varied needs of the residence, youth, and physical departments.  The new facility was built at a cost of $1,500,000.  Shortly after moving in, the YMCA of Paterson initiated a relief and job referral service for victims of the Depression.  During World War II, pre-induction physical training was offered to potential military recruits.

The YMCA of Paterson has shifted its course from a predominantly recreational facility to a community center that offers housing to vulnerable populations, as well as social, cultural, and educational services for people of all ages.  The staff of the YMCA of Paterson takes pride in this ability to adapt our programs to meet the current needs of the community.  The staff of the YMCA of Paterson hails predominantly from the Paterson community and reflects the rich diversity of this city.

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The Y is committed to providing programs that build a healthy spirit, mind and body for all by designing programing which develops healthy living, social responsibility, and youth development. We make every effort to ensure that no one is turned away due to inability to pay. Read more about our financial assistance under the Healthy & Well Being Center Membership Fee Tab.