About The Org
The YMCA of Southern Maine is an Association of four YMCAs, with branches located in Biddeford, Portland, Freeport, and New Gloucester. While the Association is part of a larger, more intricate national federation of YMCAs operating under the supervision of Y USA, and often interacts with the international YMCAs located across the globe in 119 countries, the YMCA of Southern Maine carefully considers the needs of the Southern Maine community in the development of their services and programs. The YMCA of Southern Maine strives to meet every community member’s needs, look at health and well-being as a multifaceted part of life, and incorporate all dimensions of diversity in the organization’s services and programs. Most importantly, the YMCA of Southern Maine provides its services and programs to all members of our community, regardless of ability to pay.
Meeting Community Needs
Data from member and community surveys are reviewed by the YMCA of Southern Maine to ensure that its services and programs are successful in meeting the needs of the community. Recent research found that 58% of Maine 34 years old did not attend preschool in 20112013. The Y’s Early Learning Readiness (ELR) program addresses this issue by offering an early learning experience to local families. The program not only provides children educational information, but teaches their caregivers tools for at-home learning, which prepares the children for a future of success in school. As the second oldest state in the nation, Maine has a great need for programming involving senior citizens. The YMCA of Southern Maine addresses this community need by providing senior citizen focused services, programs, and classes at all of its four branches. One of the most interesting programs at the YMCA of Southern Maine, is the organization’s housing program. The housing program includes a Men’s Dormitory, providing homes to New Americans and low income community members. What once made up the majority of YMCA programming nationally, dormitory programs now rarely exist at Ys and this association is one of the last Y’s still operating a dormitory in the US.
Nine Dimensions of Health & Well-Being
We all know that to be our healthiest, we must consider all aspects of our bodies, minds, and lives. Since it was founded, the YMCA has taken a holistic approach to health and well-being. Today the Y has broken down health and well-being into nine dimensions and its services and programs support members, visitors, and staff through a variety of combinations of these dimensions.
Diversity, Inclusion, & Globalization
The YMCA has begun to place great emphasis on being an inclusive organization and has implemented a national Diversity, Inclusion, and Globalization (DIG) team. The national DIG team provides resources to YMCAs across the USA who are interested in becoming more inclusive organizations within their communities, helping them to better understand their communities, bridge multiple cultures together in one place, and bring global ideas to community members at local Ys. One of the most involved DIG projects for local YMCAs is becoming a Global Center of Excellence (GCE). GCE YMCAs report to Y USA, meeting specific DIG standards that prove their commitment to, understanding of, and ability to achieve diverse and inclusive organization practices. The YMCA of Southern Maine was named the 62nd GCE in February 2016 and has a local DIG Team working towards making the organization more inclusive, globally aware, and engaged in community needs.
The YMCA of Southern Maine is for all. The organization welcomes all community members to apply for membership. No one is turned away because of ability to pay and everyone can apply for financial assistance.
From jobs to volunteering, there are many opportunities for those interested in nonprofits at the YMCA of Southern Maine. Keep an eye on YNPNmaine’s volunteering events and find a place with us at the YMCA of Southern Maine’s 2016 Peaks to Portland Swim to Benefit Kids!