Erie, PA –  The YMCA of Greater Erie, a vital nonprofit organization, is extending a helping hand to the displaced workers of the Erie Coke facility.

“Perhaps its job loss, an extended illness, divorce- or any number of unforeseen situations – that an organization like the Y is most needed. It’s in these most stressful times that the Y can be most helpful in filling the gaps until they are back on their feet,” said Gerry Vandemerwe, YMCA of Greater Erie CEO. “The Y quickly becomes the ‘go to’ place for family recreation and personal health.”

According to Vandemerwe, displaced workers of Erie Coke will receive one free month of membership and at conclusion of the free month will then be extended a scholarship based on their household circumstances.

The Y’s Financial Assistance Program is funded through generous contributions to the Y’s Annual Campaign; the Y returns more than $1 million annually in scholarships and free programs and services back to the community.

“The program’s expanded structure now includes four levels of income and subsidy to make sure that our program reflects the median household income of Erie County (Source: Erie Vital Signs County – $48,000, City- $36,000).  Y’s are reflections of the local community; we want a program that is flexible to help people when they need us most,” said Vandemerwe.

For example, a family of four can earn as much as $75,300 and qualify for a 25% subsidy and that same family of four can earn as much as $25,100 and qualify for a 75% subsidy. Each award considers factors such as income, family size, household expenses and personal circumstances.

“We don’t pretend to know what is going on in someone’s personal life.  We find, more often than not, our public persona is not necessarily an accurate reflection of what is going on behind closed doors,” said Vandemerwe.

“If the Y can help you and your family, simply come to your local Y location and ask for an application for the Financial Assistance program – or you may download from ymcaerie.org.”



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