The mission of the Central Connecticut Coast YMCA is to put Judeo-Christian principles into practice through programs that build a healthy spirit, mind and body for all. The Y welcomes all - no matter religion, age, gender or socio-economic status and makes accessible the support and opportunities that empower people and communities to learn, grow and thrive. With a focus on youth development, healthy living and social responsibility, the Y nurtures the potential of every youth and teen, improves the nation’s health and well-being, and provides opportunities to give back and support neighbors.
Since 1859 the Central Connecticut Coast Y branches have served as community centers in the heart of the 25 towns we serve. Much of the Central Connecticut Coast Y’s work is supported by membership dues, program fees and grants, but central to our mission is the commitment to make the Y affordable and accessible to all, regardless of ability to pay.
The YMCA reaches an exceptionally diverse group of individuals, providing thousands of deserving families, new immigrants, and at-risk young people with the resources and services they need to lead happy, healthy, and productive lives as citizens of our communities.
The YMCA is known for its quality community programs that provide our neighbors with access to affordable and accessible wellness options. In addition to promoting general health and wellness, YMCA programs teach critical life skills (swimming), promote teamwork and leadership skills (basketball), afford opportunities for intergenerational interaction (Y Family Fun Nights), and provide a safe, nurturing space for area residents.
Our philosophy that no one is turned away due to their inability to pay is something that each and every staff member takes very seriously. We believe that an individual's economic status should not limit their access to a variety of activities. This driving philosophy makes YMCA programs even more critical to the general health and well-being of our community.
The Y is, and always will be, dedicated to building healthy, confident, connected and secure children, adults, families and communities. Every day our impact is felt when an individual makes a healthy choice, when a mentor inspires a child and when a community comes together for the common good.
History, Programs and Services: Since 1859 the Central Connecticut Coast Y branches have served as community centers in the heart of the 25 towns we serve. Nationally and internationally, the YMCA is known for its quality community programs that provide our neighbors with access to affordable and accessible wellness options. In addition to promoting general health and wellness, YMCA programs work to close the Achievement Gap, to teach critical life skills, promote teamwork and leadership skills, afford opportunities for inter-generational interaction, and provide a safe, nurturing space for area residents.
Our philosophy that no one is turned away due to their inability to pay is something that each and every staff member takes very seriously. We believe that an individual’s economic status should not limit their access to a variety of activities. This driving philosophy makes YMCA programs even more critical to the general health and well-being of our community.
Our YMCA branches offer a variety of successful programs and services, including child care, fitness programs, sports leagues, swimming, summer day and resident camp, and low-income housing with support services.
Our last evaluation of programs for the Central Connecticut Coast YMCA showed:
Last year, more than 5,000 children attended one of our summer camps. In total, we awarded over $400,000 in financial assistance for day camp and overnight camp scholarships. Kids need summer camp experiences as part of their development. When you send a kid to camp, they unplug from technology, they spend the day physically active, they spend 30-minutes each day reading to prevent summer learning loss, they experience success and become more confident, they develop life-long skills and life-time friendships. You give an experience they remember forever.
You provided a home and changed the lives last year of 1,685 people across Connecticut with support to our housing programs. This includes more than 300 children who benefited from our family emergency shelter. There are many more families at risk of homelessness and many already living without shelter, together with our many collaborators across the State, we need to end chronic homelessness; you help provide individuals with the resources and skills they need to rebuild homes when you support the Y.
In our special needs programs we will evaluate how many participants in the adapted programs feel confident to try mainstream programs as well as how many parents would recommend our programs.
In the past 2 years we have trained staff to work with children with special needs in sports, after school and camp, created an adapted arts program and expanded our adapted aquatics program.
Nearly 5,000 teens have come to the Y and acquired the skills they need to resist negative influences, finish their education, pursue careers and break the cycle of poverty.
In addition to participation rates, our staff also evaluates our programs based on participant feedback. Responses are compiled and shared with staff to review and use in the development of an action plan for improvement for the following year. Our staff makes every effort to talk to parents at the start and end of each session to see what areas we can improve upon and what areas are going well. When we discover an opportunity to improve, staff comes together to come up with ways to solve any issue. Positive responses tell us we are doing something right and allow us to build momentum in a positive direction.
We have found our camp to be a great societal equalizer in dealing with youth and families. Wherever you come from or whatever your circumstances, a camp experience almost inevitably broadens your perspective of the world and teaches you how to live and thrive within it. Every year, we provide this opportunity to children and families who cannot afford to attend.
Our goal is to help boys and girls grow as individuals, building their self esteem while instilling leadership social and life skills - all while they have fun in our beautiful camp environment. Campers have the opportunity to participate in a wide variety of activities that are made possible by our natural settings while led by enthusiastic staff.
In 2010, 184 children were able to participate in YMCA Camp Hi-Rock programs and services who would not otherwise have been unable to do so. We anticipate approximately 204 children will be helped through our Strong Kids Financial Assistance program in 2011. In 2010, 94% of camper survey respondents reported that camp helped them make new friends. 89% of camper survey respondents reported that camp helped them get to know kids who are different from themselves (an increase over 2009 when 79% of campers responded in this manner). 87% of campers reported that camp made them feel good about themselves. Lives were positively changed, critical child care was provided to low-income families during the summer time period, character traits such as honesty, caring, respect and responsibility were learned. There was a tremendously positive impact for all of Camp Hi-Rock to continue to have and serve a fully diverse population of campers. This made our camp experience stronger for everyone.
To be without a home is often to be without hope. Yet the Central Connecticut Coast YMCA is committed to helping individuals and families move from homelessness to hopefulness.
The Valley YMCA provides housing services to many individuals. Its residence programs give men not only a safe place to live, but also a comfortable environment. We were also able to help those that were struggling to stay current on their rent due to reduction in their work hours or unemployment. Knowing that the Y staff are willing to work with them so they don’t have to worry about a roof over their head has given many of the residents peace of mind and the ability to continue to provide for other necessities, including food and medication.
While many of our residents may not have any other support networks, the Y’s housing gave 50 individuals, a sense of community, hope and a place to belong last year.
Since their departure from the shelter, Jose and Suheily received a Section 8 voucher from the Bridgeport Housing Authority. Jose, Suheily, and their children are doing very well and have expressed much gratitude for the help and guidance they received from Alpha Community Services YMCA.
David Stevenson began his YMCA career in 1979 as the Physical Director at the Sidney-Shelby County YMCA in western Ohio. In 1983, Dave returned to Washington D.C. to attend graduate school at American University and to work as the Assistant Director for the National Center for Health/Fitness. His deep commitment to the Y mission brought him back to the National Capital YMCA in 1987 where he served as the Associate Executive Director for Programs. In 1991, Dave accepted the position as Branch Executive for the YMCA of Central Maryland, and in 1998, he joined the staff of the Sewickley Valley YMCA as its Chief Executive Officer. In November 2010, Dr. Stevenson became the President & CEO of the Central Connecticut Coast YMCA.
As a twenty-five year professional in the YMCA movement, Dr. Stevenson states, “With roots dating back to the 1850’s, the YMCA continues to serve as a vital and thriving force to build spirit, mind, and body for all. And as a cause-driven movement, the YMCA is welcoming to all and well positioned to address the challenges of today’s society.”
Dr. Stevenson holds a B.S. degree in Recreation Management from Ithaca College, an M.S. degree in Health/Fitness Management from American University, and a Ph.D. degree in Educational Administration from AmericanUniversity.
Dave and his wife, Maura, are the proud parents of Patrick (24) and Maggie (21), and live in the Central Connecticut Coast YMCA service area.
Indirect Public Support HelpIndirect public support represents revenue received through solicitation campaigns. This includes funding United Way and other federated fundraising organizations, but does not include donor designated contributions.
Earned Revenue HelpEarned revenue represents income generated in direct exchange for a product or service.Earned income includes income from government contracts.
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A healthy community is a rich community. When we enjoy good health, when we engage in wellness activities – and when we support people living with disease or disabilities -- there are profound physical and psychological benefits. Simply put, we are all stronger and happier. To support the health and wellness initiatives in your community is to put good health within reach of all.
When families, schools and communities take the view that children and youth are valued and respected assets to society, they necessarily support environments that nurture youth development. Children raised to embrace positive social values, to seek self-understanding, and to value their self-worth grow to become community-minded young adults with a sense of belonging and a belief in their resiliency. See how you can help our community's children grow into tomorrow's leaders.
A strong community not only meets its members’ basic needs but also works to create long-term solutions to their problems. Provide people with affordable housing, enough to eat and access to affordable health care and you enable them to envision a better future for themselves.
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