Build Something Great
The New England Journal of Medicine, reports that today’s young people are not expected to outlive their parents – for the first time in U.S. history. Obesity among children has tripled in the last 30 years according to the CDC and statistics show that one-third of all children born today will develop Type 2 diabetes during their lifetime. In 2012, the American College of Sports Medicine’s Fitness Index Report ranked metro Indianapolis 45th out of 50 major U.S. cities in health. Poverty worsens these health problems, and 25% of Indianapolis residents live in poverty.
Like no other organization, the YMCA has the expertise, programs and resources to change the future of our city. Since its founding in1854, the YMCA of Greater Indianapolis has strengthened the fabric of our community by focusing on youth development, healthy living and social responsibility.
Last year, the Y provided nearly $7 million in annual scholarships, subsidies and underwriting to serve vulnerable, low-income residents and neighborhoods. To make certain our services are accessible, we collaborate with more than 200 local churches, schools and community groups. Approximately one in every nine people in central Indiana directly experiences the benefits of Y membership.
More facilities are needed to ensure that everyone in the urban core of Indianapolis has access to Y programs. In response, the YMCA launched the $31 million “Strengthening the Heart of the City Campaign” to fund construction of new YMCA centers in Pike Township, in the Meadows neighborhood and downtown at the CityWay Development, and to provide endowment dollars to help operate and maintain the facilities.
A gift to Strengthening the Heart of the City is a gift to the health of every resident, and especially to the health of our community’s most vulnerable populations. It is a gift to make world-class wellness resources available to all people.
The following projects are being completed as part of the Heart of the City Campaign:
Pike Township is an urban residential community on the city’s northwest side facing the same critical community challenges as the rest of the metropolitan area: an accelerated number of lifestyle-related chronic illnesses in youth and adults due to inactivity and obesity; greater levels of family stress; and increased social isolation. But in Pike Township, one of the fastest growing areas in Marion County, there are additional challenges since the community is the most diverse in Indianapolis with more than 66 languages spoken by a large immigrant population, students have the highest BMI (body-mass index) scores in the city and there is a critical shortage of safe, high-quality child care.
The Avondale Meadows YMCA is the first success from the Heart of the City Capital Campaign. Located in one of Indianapolis’ most challenged neighborhoods, the Avondale Meadows YMCA is part of a large-scale redevelopment project aimed at revitalizing the area. The facility opened on August 21, 2013 and received a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver Certification in construction.
The Avondale Meadows Y will provide:
• Facilities and resources for 12,000 new members to improve their lives through health, wellness and education
• A fully licensed child care and education center
• Health-focused facilities and programming
• A home for the Y’s Urban Mission staff, providing a concentration of leaders with experience working with low-income children and families
The CityWay YMCA will combine modern facilities with operational excellence. The new center will be the source for development and will provide:
• Health and fitness facilities for nearly 15,000 people who live and work downtown and in the adjoining underserved near-south and southeast-side neighborhoods
• A hub for planning and developing tactics to achieve the Y’s bold vision of becoming one of the top 10 healthiest communities by 2025
• Resources and programmatic support for the Pike and Meadows centers
On July 16, a groundbreaking ceremony was held for the new CityWay YMCA. The facility is expected to open in late 2015.