YMCA of Greater Pittsburgh announces closure of two locations to address pandemic impacts and build for the future
PITTSBURGH (October 14, 2020) – To align its member and community services with the impact of the global pandemic, and to prepare for a stronger future, the YMCA of Greater Pittsburgh today announced it will close the North Boroughs branch in Bellevue and its YMCA at the U.S. Steel Tower downtown effective today.
The Y will honor memberships for the 1,200 affected members at its other branches including Allegheny, Baierl Family, Sampson Family, Spencer Family, and Thelma Lovette through March 31, 2021. The organization will continue to serve both the North Boroughs and downtown communities through a variety of programming including Before and Afterschool Enrichment programs, Pod Learning daycare sites, food distribution, affordable housing and its very popular Summer Day Camp programs.
"As the global coronavirus pandemic has continued, its impact on the YMCA of Greater Pittsburgh has deepened,” said Kevin Bolding, President & CEO. “Unfortunately, this means we must make these changes so that we can continue to provide the Y experience and services that our members and the community expect today, and for the future.”
“This is heartbreaking,” he added. “We never want to close any of our YMCAs. Yet we recognize the financial impacts of being closed for several months. Our successful recovery from bankruptcy in 2018 taught us that we must act quickly to preserve precious resources for the benefit of the larger community.”
Bolding noted the YMCA of Greater Pittsburgh has served the community for 166 years. “Our focus today must be on our plan to ensure the YMCA is here to support future generations,” he said. He further expressed appreciation for critical financial gifts received from members, corporations, foundations and the public during the pandemic. All donations have helped sustain the delivery of essential services such as affordable housing, food distribution and learning pods.
Bolding said the Y’s North Boroughs branch has been closed since pandemic restrictions began in March and has been unable to re-open because of the size and space limitations of the building, which do not allow for current or expected social distancing requirements. The Y expects to sell the North Boroughs building and dedicate sale proceeds to debt relief.
The YMCA at U.S. Steel Tower was able to re-open briefly, but member usage was at a fraction of pre-pandemic levels. Continuing services there is financially unsustainable. Bolding said the decision of many downtown employers to continue remote work arrangements is likely a major factor in this decreased usage.
“Because it’s uncertain when this situation might change,” Bolding said as a final remark, “the Y must act now to ensure it is able to continue the programs and services that members and the community expect. This will require ongoing assessment of our resources over the next several months.”
About the Y
The Y is the nation’s leading nonprofit committed to strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. Our mission is to put Christian principles into practice through programs that build healthy spirit, mind and body for all. The YMCA of Greater Pittsburgh is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization committed to closing the achievement gap, eliminating health disparities and providing aid to financially struggling families throughout the greater Pittsburgh region. Our Y serves more than 80,000 individuals each year and provides over $1.4 million dollars in subsidies to individuals and families. Every day, the Y works side by side with people of all faiths and beliefs to ensure that everyone regardless of age, income or background, has the opportunity to learn, grow and thrive.