Hobart Family YMCA History
The YMCA is a cause driven association with a mission to put Christian principles into practice through programs that build a healthy spirit, mind and body for all. We at the Hobart Family YMCA proudly engage over 10,000 individuals each year and over 3,400 individual members yearly. Our impact is felt when a mentor encourages a child, when an individual strives for a healthy lifestyle, and when our community works side-by-side for the common good. We primarily serve those in the Hobart, New Chicago, Lake Station, and Merrillville areas, however, we are open to all!
BRIEF PROGRAM AND SERVICE HIGHLIGHTS
• Contracted provider of before and after school childcare for Hobart City Schools and River Forest Community Schools
• Longest running (and best!) Developmental Preschool in Hobart at 33 years
• Certified facility and instructors by Arthritis Foundation of Greater Chicagoland
• Lake Area United Way Agency since 1957
• First Inclusion Preschool Day Camp and School-Age Day Camp Program at a YMCA in collaboration with the Center For Possibilities, Bubel-Aiken Foundation & National Inclusion Project**
• Premier delegation at Indiana State YMCA Youth & Government Program in Indianapolis
• 1955…First organizing activities begin by five area Women’s Clubs
• 1957…Officially chartered and admitted to Lake Area United Way
• 1961…Became branch of Gary Metro YMCA (GMY)
• 1966…Capital Campaign by GMY, Hobart gets new building
• 1976…GMY dissolves, Hobart inherits $230,000 debt
• 1981…Hobart Y experiences severe fire, closed for several months
• 1997…Hobart Y Board authorizes Feasibility Study to expand facility
• 1999…Construction begins on 18,000 sq. foot addition
• 2000…Grand opening of “New” Hobart Family YMCA
YMCA History in the United States
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.
Here’s a glance at our rich history, and a snapshot of our many successes over the last 160 years on behalf of the individuals and communities we are privileged to serve.
George Williams founded the YMCA in 1844.
In 1844, industrialized London was a place of great turmoil and despair. For the young men who migrated to the city from rural areas to find jobs, London offered a bleak landscape of tenement housing and dangerous influences.
Twenty-two-year-old George Williams, a farmer-turned-department store worker, was troubled by what he saw. He joined 11 friends to organize the first Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA), a refuge of Bible study and prayer for young men seeking escape from the hazards of life on the streets.
Although an association of young men meeting around a common purpose was nothing new, the Y offered something unique for its time. The organization’s drive to meet social need in the community was compelling, and its openness to members crossed the rigid lines separating English social classes.
Years later, retired Boston sea captain Thomas Valentine Sullivan, working as a marine missionary, noticed a similar need to create a safe “home away from home” for sailors and merchants. Inspired by the stories of the Y in England, he led the formation of the first U.S. YMCA at the Old South Church in Boston on December 29, 1851.
Anthony Bowen founded the first
African American YMCA in 1853.
1870s – 1890s
Camp leaders at the first YMCA camp
in the United States in 1887.
1900 – 1950s
YMCA swimming, 1910-1914 (circa).
1960 – 1990s
The first Healthy Kids Day was conducted in 1992.
2000 - PRESENT
First Lady Michelle Obama launches the pillars of her “Let’s Move” campaign against childhood obesity at the Alexandria YMCA, a branch of the YMCA of Metropolitan Washington.
The YMCA is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to put Christian principles into practice through programs that build healthy spirit, mind and body for all.
The Y is committed to providing programs that build a healthy spirit, mind and body for all. We make every effort to ensure that no one is turned away due to inability to pay.
Click here for our financial assistance application