YMCA OF YARMOUTH TO PERMANENTLY CLOSE
UPDATE: Thursday, June 4, 2020
We have added an FAQ page to answer commonly asked questions such as retrieving locker contents, refunds and more.
Wednesday, June 3, 2020
YMCA of YARMOUTH TO PERMANENTLY CLOSE
Dear Members, Program Participants, Volunteers and Staff of the YMCA of Yarmouth
Over the past few months Nova Scotians have faced significant challenges and I have witnessed again and again how communities have come together to support one another. As the Province begins to emerge from COVID-19 restrictions, organizations are working to adjust to the new landscape. It is with great sadness due to our recent ten-week facility closure, we are announcing that the YMCA of Yarmouth will not re-open as permitted after June 5, 2020. Before we even closed our doors in mid-March, I had updated our members that the YMCA of Yarmouth was continuing to face severe financial challenges – due to rising costs related to our aging infrastructure and ongoing operating deficits. Sadly, the economic challenges of COVID-19 have become insurmountable and due to this unprecedented situation, the YMCA of Yarmouth has unfortunately been put in a position that it must permanently close.
This has been a very difficult decision for the Board of Directors as the YMCA has been part of this vibrant community for over 162 years. We have met with numerous stakeholders over the past few months and explored numerous options in an attempt to keep our doors open and continue delivering YMCA services to the community. Sadly, like many other charitable organizations offering community programs and services, our finances are exhausted, we have no reserve funds and are unable to take on additional debt. Our YMCA has experienced several years of operating losses and our most recent 2019 audited financial statements report a net loss of over $41,000 despite numerous actions by the staff and board. Last fiscal we did an emergency donor appeal, secured emergency bridge funding from our municipal partners and improved our lottery results. In previous years, YMCA Boards have also taken measures to try and improve our financial situation – from selling our beloved Camp Wapomeo (and harvesting the wood on the camp’s property), to selling our parking lot, to liquidating our investments – they tried everything.
A recent assessment of our aging infrastructure, in partnership with the municipal units, noted that there is an immediate capital requirement of $1.5 million to ensure the ongoing operations of our facilities, and a total long-term investment of $5.3 million estimated over the next 10 years. Several of the short-term infrastructure needs would need to be addressed immediately before the YMCA of Yarmouth could safely re-open – even before the additional costs of new health and safety measures required to address COVID-19 government-mandated precautions. While YMCA Canada has provided significant resources and support to the YMCA of Yarmouth throughout this crisis, this approach is not sustainable.
We want to thank all our valued members, program participants, volunteers and staff for their support and friendship. The success of our charitable organization over the years has been about the thousands of people that learned to swim in the pool, participated in our classes and enjoyed connecting with their neighbours. The Y is where youth have the opportunity to build leadership skills and confidence, where children are cared for, where people of all ages have access to healthy activities, and where everyone is provided an opportunity to connect. Our community was built by the people that worked here and by the thousands of valued members we served. As we wind up our operations, our priority is to work diligently to conduct the orderly dissolution of the association.
We hope the Yarmouth and surrounding community stays safe as this pandemic continues. Across Canada, YMCAs are working together to respond to the needs of our communities in new ways that we haven’t before. We hope everyone in Yarmouth will continue to use ymcahome.ca to stay active, engaged and healthy. On behalf of the Board of Directors and all our staff and volunteers, I would like to once again thank you for the support of the YMCA of Yarmouth over its 162 years in operation.
Chair of the Board
YMCA of Yarmouth
About the YMCA
The YMCA is a powerful association of people joined together by a shared passion to foster a sense of belonging for all. In an age of complex social challenges, the YMCA is steadfastly dedicated to building healthy communities by inviting and encouraging Canadians to join in, to give back, and to gain the connections, skills, and confidence they need to thrive.
The YMCA is a charity and for more than a century we’ve been at the heart of communities across the country, serving evolving needs and providing vital community services.
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