Community Outreach

We’re Here for Good

Check out how the Y is impacting our community.

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The YMCA of Greater Erie exists to strengthen the foundations of our community through Youth Development, Healthy Living and Social Responsibility. 

We do it by:

  • teaching kids new skills that build self-confidence, character values and leadership.
  • helping adults and families lead healthy lifestyles.
  • connecting older adults to an active support network.
  • providing outlets to give back to those in need and volunteer your time.

Erie County has 10 identified food deserts- pockets of our community where residents lack access to groceries and fresh fruits and vegetables. Through the Y’s Meals for Kids program, we are bridging the gap for youth ages 2-18 by providing free and nutritious meals directly in low-income neighborhoods where access is a concern. Locally, 1 in 5 children have food insecurity.  In addition, the Y’s Food + Fun bus is a mobile meals site for kids that delivers meals via a renovated school bus.  On average, more than 15,000 meals are served each summer at  locations throughout Erie County.


Nearly 30% of Third graders in Erie County score non-proficient in reading. The Y partners with Erie Public Schools to provide an intensive six-week summer learning loss program which blends rigorous, small-group academic instruction with high-quality camp-like enrichment and community engagement activities. In addition to the academic impact of summer learning, scholars are strengthening their social-emotional skills, building a positive self-image, transitioning from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset where anything is within reach and participating in physical activities and enjoying nutritious meals. The summer learning program is designed to address summer learning loss for children in low income households living in under-resourced areas and thereby enhance overall youth development, academic performance, and graduation rates in our community.

Offered in partnership with the City of Erie, Y staff provide a safe place for kids to meet-up in the summer and connect with caring adults. The program provides recreational opportunities for children in 9 City of Erie parks.  Program includes traditional playground games, arts/crafts, group sports, nature exploration and more. A free summer lunch is also served.

City of Erie Summer Parks & Recreation Guide

Kids involved in the YMCA Kids Club in the John Horan Garden Apartments  and Erie Heights/Pineview join YMCA staff daily for educational, recreational, cultural and relational activities.  Children learn positive behaviors and character values such as caring, honesty, respect and responsibility.  They explore their unique talents and abilities – helping them realize their potential. 

Drowning is the second leading cause of accidental death of children under age 14 in the United States. The Y believes, that like learning to safely cross the street, children must learn to be safe in and around water. Free swimming lessons are provided to City of Erie children each summer and are funded by the City of Erie. More than 300 children participate in this program each summer.

In loving memory of YMCA staff member John Gilmore, the Y provides annual scholarships to the Dr. Barclay Diabetes Camp at nearby YMCA Camp Fitch. This is important because kids with diabetes often feel excluded from their favorite activities including birthday parties, holidays and sleepovers.

At the YMCA of Greater Erie, a supportive community is a big part of wellness. That’s why we are a community partner in preventing chronic diseases such as diabetes and high blood pressure through the Y’s Healthy Living Center. Our programs help educate the community about healthy habits to prevent chronic diseases from taking hold. The programs are provided for free or at a low cost, which allows us to help bridge the gap between doctor care and regular life. The YMCA has the equipment and spaces to provide high-quality programs and the YMCA of the USA training allows our staff to become experts in developing healthy habits.

Learn more about the Y’s Healthy Living Center.

We know that teens don’t have many options outside of school-based activities. And that only about one-half of our youth are exposed to positive character development. The Teen Center at the Downtown Y is a place just for teens (12 -18) to participate in activities that interest them and connect with caring mentors.  Teens have the freedom to pick and choose from a number of structured activities or elect for “chill-off” time. 

A collaborative program offered in partnership with the UPMC Hamot and Allegheny Health Network Foundations, Wellness for Life incorporates a focus on mind-body-spirit wellbeing for cancer patients and their caregivers. The program offers a combination of mind-body classes free of charge. Research shows that by integrating physical activity, proper nutrition and mind-body-spirit awareness, you can feel better and reduce the side effects of cancer treatment such as nausea, depression, anxiety, fatigue, and weight gain. Please note that this program requires a referral from your medical provider.

In partnership with local shelters, the YMCA offers Erie’s homeless a free shower and toiletries. This program is helping to preserve the dignity of Erie’s homeless.

The mission of the ECRSSA is to provide support and services to transitioning clients through an intentional network of community and faith-based organizations in partnership with the criminal justice system.

Our vision is to be a county where “transitioning clients” are supported, empowered, and fully integrated into the community with case management support to include the support of a client mentor and faith-based community mentoring.

Visit the ECRSSA page.

Contact US

For more information please feel free to call us at (814) 452-3261, email us anytime or use the form below.

Contact Form