About the YMCA of Greater Miami
The YMCA of Greater Miami was started in 1916 in downtown Miami. At that time, there were just a few pioneers with the dream of offering programs that would build a strong community. The first YMCA building was dedicated by 300 members in 1918. The original building reach capacity in 1925, and the Miami Y began to build branches in communities of Miami-Dade County.
Late in the 1930s Austin Younts opened a center to serve black youth. Around that same time, land in Allapattah was donated for the first suburban branch. In the 1940s the YMCA of Greater Miami was a hub of social and athletic activities for thousands of military personnel. The Y led the move to provide services to the newly arrived Cuban refugees in the 1960s, and the José Martí International Branch was formed in 1963.
From there, the Y has become an intricate piece of the mosaic that is South Florida. Having started as an organization that served mostly young Christian men, the Y of today is a magnet for all kinds of people, attracting people of all faiths, races, abilities, ages and income. The Y is an agent of depolarization, bringing people together from different backgrounds, communities and cultures. The Y of today looks much different than it did 30 or 40 years ago, yet the core values of caring, honesty, respect, and responsibility that the Y teaches have remained constant throughout its long history.
Today, the YMCA of Greater Miami provides programs - child care, sports, before and afterschool care, aquatics, day camps, teen programs, adult fitness and senior programs - in 4 family centers, 3 preschools, and over 60 elementary and middle schools, and park locations throughout Miami-Dade and Monroe Counties.