The Y is Committed to Serving Every Person

13 February 2023
Poverty word inside puzzle pieces

Limited membership services during the afternoon of February 24. 

The YMCA of South Hampton Roads is committed to serving every person with compassion and empathy. Because of this unwavering commitment, on the afternoon of February 24, 2023, our entire membership team is participating in Virginia Cooperative Extension’s Poverty Simulation Experience

This simulation experience is designed to help participants begin to understand what it might be like to live in a low-income household trying to survive from month to month. The purpose is to sensitize participants to the realities faced by these individuals. With this increased empathy, Y staff are better equipped to identify the needs of community members that may otherwise be underserved.  

Six months ago, Julie Crowley, Vice President of Membership Success, participated in the Poverty Simulation and knew immediately she wanted to bring it to the YMCA membership staff. “It helped me to have a better understanding of some of the barriers people might face just to get to the Y, let alone how important it is for a family to be able to participate in our programs, regardless of their financial situation.” 

The YMCA of South Hampton Roads is planning to serve over 250,000 people this year, with approximately 30% of members receiving some kind of financial assistance. Last year the Y provided more than $5.7 million in financial assistance subsidies by offering income-based pricing to lower fees for membership, child care, sports, swim lessons, and more.

The Y is dedicated to creating belonging for everyone, and this training opportunity further instills that dedication. All Y locations will remain open with no service disruptions. However, in order for our membership staff to participate in this simulation, we are relying on support from other departments within our Y’s to staff the Welcome Desk. Membership changes or program enrollment guidance may not be available during the afternoon on February 24th.