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Our History

For 175 years, the Y has worked to strengthen the communities we serve.

The YMCA was founded in 1844 by 22-year-old George Williams to serve the young men who were flooding into industrial London looking for work. Over the following decades, the Y spread around the world, becoming the birthplace of basketball and home to the world's first group swimming lessons. The Y sent volunteers to do relief work during and after both world wars and in the United States, African American YMCAs provided safe meeting spaces for the organizers of the Civil Rights Movement.

The YMCA in Tacoma was organized in 1883. In 1905, local philanthropist W.W. Seymour donated the land that would eventually become Camp Seymour to the Tacoma YMCA. In 1910, the Y opened its first facility in downtown Tacoma on Market Street. For over a century, the Y has adapted to the changing needs of our community. From chronic disease prevention to summer day camp, the Y provides programs and services to help everyone reach their potential.

 

Our Core Values

Caring

Honesty

Respect

Responsibility