Benefits of the YMCA to Inner City Youth
The YMCA was first recognized in 1844 and was started by George Williams. Originally, the organizations, were founded specifically to offer housing to rural men and women, in a safe, Christian-based environment. Since then, the YMCA has grown exponentially, and, today the organization offers a plethora of services to children and adults. In fact, there are many benefits to young adults in the inner cities.
Young men and women of school age who take part in YMCA programs, are more likely to excel in school, stay off the streets and complete their education, than those who do not take part in such programs in the same demographics and locations. Children who are involved in the programs for youth are offered a safe environment to spend their after school hours. During after school hours children who are involved are offered homework help, peer interaction and guidance from staff who are trained to deal with young men and women who are considered to be “at-risk youth”.
Programs at the facilities are designed to promote a healthy lifestyle in all aspects of a young person’s life, as well. Fitness classes and sports teams focus on promoting physical fitness. Lunch and after-school snack programs aim to provide nutritious sustenance for children who may not otherwise be provided with such options. Leadership and community outreach programs aim at helping young people develop leadership skills that will serve them throughout their life. Tutoring and homework programs aim to help young adults succeed in the academic environment. Tutors and mentors are on hand, in most locations, to provide extra help to students who find themselves struggling academically. Finally, mentoring programs aim to provide young adults with a stable and nurturing relationship with someone they can relate to on many different levels.
While the plethora of programs is important to note, the greatest benefit for children in the inner city remains a clean, safe and supportive environment that focuses on fostering a healthy life. The organization is more than simply someplace to hang out, but rather, has grown into a support system for those who would otherwise find themselves with limited funds, support and involvement from the community around them.
While the organization was originally intended to provide safe and affordable housing for those traveling from rural areas to the city to work, it has grown into something much greater. The cause has moved forward to provide significant and important programs to young men and women who find themselves living in impoverished inner city areas. The goal is to provide as much guidance to the youth, in general. What was once housing has changed into a community outreach that has its hands in all facets of the inner city’s lifestyle.