The Y is Your Third Place for Life

Along the diverse pathways of life, the YMCA stands as a third place. Whether that is between work, home, school, house of worship, or other, the Y serves as a gathering place where people find connection.  

In pursuing our mission for healthy spirit, mind and body, we recognize the range of health disparities – socioeconomic, physical environment, health behaviors and health care – that put many populations at a disadvantage.  

The cost of living in Denver is 8% higher than the rest of the state and 12% higher than the national average and disproportionately affects the unemployed, those making less than $50,000 per year, renters, living with disability, uninsured and women of color.1 

Housing is 37% more expensive than the national average.1 

At times like these, the Y is more critical than ever. As we have done for nearly 150 years and in 2022, the YMCA of Metro Denver helps meet our community’s greatest needs. We are welcoming to all in our community and in all we do to support physical and mental well-being; provide quality child care; address food insecurity; and support the pivotal programs that build skills, character and friendships throughout life.  

We’ve broadened our reach into communities of color; deepened our partnerships to support immigrant and LGBTQ+ communities; and strengthened our commitment to promoting intergenerational connections and advocating for equity.  

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Learn about your programs and outcomes. 

Child care – access and affordability – is one of the most critical issues across our city and region.  

Two in five parents (39%) say they have struggled with balancing child care and other responsibilities or have been unable to find childcare that fit their schedule or was affordable.1 

One of the Y’s priorities is to expand child care access. Child care is an economic imperative to promote equity for woman and to support vibrant workplaces. Learn more about the Y Academy

In 2022:


of preschoolers in three Y Academy ECE centers achieved literacy and fine motor skills benchmarked for Denver Public School kindergarten readiness.


children and families were supported with critical early child care allowing parents to work, support their families and contribute to the economic vitality of the region. 

The YMCA is dedicated to partnering with parents, families and our community to develop and nurture children from birth to adulthood.  

Access to quality child care correlates with higher academic outcomes, a higher likelihood of graduating high school, and higher earnings in the workforce.2  

The Y is where youth experience the fun and joy of childhood, feel supported, connected to peers and a sense of belonging. Our promise at the Y is to provide a welcoming and transformative place to uplift children so they can reach their full potential. 

In 2022:

The Y is ideally positioned to help young adults navigate their formative teen years.

This is particularly crucial at a time when 50% of parents say their children have faced increased mental health strain in the past year and 39% have difficulty building or maintaining friendships.1 

As pre-teens progress through our camps and out of school time programs, the Y continues to play a role as they mature into their teenage years by providing a mentoring student-teacher relationship, a safe space to connect with fellow students for social connection and a first-time job in an area of their interest.  

In 2022:


preteens and teens honed their leadership skills through the YMCA’s Youth in Government, Youth Conference on National Affairs, youth service and advocacy programs.


youth gained work experience as lifeguards, camp counselors, front line staff and interns across our nutrition, community well-being and other departments. 

The Y embraces the diverse realities across a person’s lifespan.  

Because our “health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity,” (World Health Organization) in adulthood we seek out the places and the people that bring meaning to our lives and a sense of community.  

55% of Coloradans report having experienced anxiety in the past year.1  

Drowning death rates among black children ages 10-14 are 3.6 times higher than the rates for white people.3  

The Y is a space where individuals can find a class or activity that improves their health – physical and mental - outside of work; where a parent can get support with family activities like dance classes, youth sports or swim lessons; and older adults find meaning and engagement in a volunteer opportunity or chronic disease program.  

The Y is intergenerational and where true health occurs. 

In 2022:

At the YMCA, we are committed to helping our community be a better place for all and helping to meet some of our society’s greatest needs.

Being an advocate for the community means understanding the issues that contribute to overall wellness. 

Nearly half (44%) of Coloradans indicate at least one major source of financial anxiety – whether it is worry that they will lose their home, not be able to afford food, lack health insurance coverage, or lose a job in the next 12 months.1  

The Y is the safe and welcoming place where our community turns to for support. Through partnerships with municipalities, non-profits, corporations, foundations, school districts and individuals, we are able to extend our reach in underserved communities and ensure the Y is accessible where and when we are needed.  

Together, we are creating a healthier, more vibrant Denver for all.  

In 2022:


pounds of fresh food was provided through the Y’s Beyond Hunger food pantry program to families in need.


lives saved through blood donations at drives hosted in partnership with Vitalant and Colorado Children's Hospital at our wellness centers. 


in financial assistance was granted to 520 families and youth making the Y programs accessible in our community.