Mission, History & Values
The YMCA of Metropolitan Los Angeles puts Judeo-Christian principles into practice through programs that build healthy spirit, mind and body for all.
The Young Men's Christian Association was founded in London in 1844 by George Williams who, along with a community of 11 other men, created a refuge from the city's perilous city streets. Although an association of young men meeting around a common purpose was nothing new, the Y offered something unique for its time. The organization's drive to meet social need in the community was compelling, and its openness to members crossed the rigid lines separating English social classes. Years later, retired Boston sea captain Thomas Valentine Sullivan, working as a maritime missionary, noticed a similar need to create a safe "home away from home" for sailors and merchants. Inspired by the stories of the Y in England, he led the formation of the first U.S. YMCA at the Old South Church in Boston on December 29, 1851.
The Y came to Los Angeles on January 28, 1882, with its first branch located downtown on Spring Street. Currently, the LA Y's 25 branches span over 100 miles across Los Angeles County. Our impact is felt when an individual makes a healthy choice, when a mentor inspires a child and when a community comes together for the common good.
The Y is guided by four core values: caring, honesty, respect, responsibility.