Mansfield Area YMCA

More Than a Gym and Swim


The early origins of the YMCA date back to 1844 in London, England. The movement spread to the U.S. and eventually made its way to Mansfield. Founded in 1867, the Mansfield YMCA organizers sought to channel the energies of young men into character-building activities addressing mind, body, and spirit. Early meetings of the new Y were held in Mansfield locations including 36 N. Main Street and 45 Park Avenue West. A similar movement began in the 1850’s for women, and by 1920, Mansfield had its own YWCA. For over 40 years, the YWCA operated with a focus on helping women spiritually/economically/physically, teaching crafts, office skills and health/fitness programs.

The Mansfield Y moved to a new facility in May 1956 at 455 Park Avenue W. Shortly thereafter, the YMCA and the YWCA merged in an effort to eliminate a duplication of effort and reduce costs. In 2000, after completing a successful capital campaign, the Mansfield Area Y moved into its new facilities at 750 Scholl Road. To this day, the mission of the Y has remained consistent: building a community where all people are encouraged to develop to their fullest potential in spirit, mind, and body. This is achieved by adhering to the three areas of focus: Youth Development, Healthy Living, and Social Responsibility. All programs are developed within the Y’s mission and the three guiding principles.

Individual success stories are a huge part of the Y’s makeup. One such story is about Isaiah. Isaiah came to the Y after school for a safe place while his mother worked. Due to behavior problems, he lost his privileges. His reinstatement required him to volunteer at the Y. There he learned the importance of caring, honesty, respect and responsibility. At age 15, Isaiah asked if he could be a lifeguard and a role model for other kids like him. Today, he is an asset to the Y and shining example of the positive outcomes possible when you don’t give up on potential.

Cynthia found a lump in her breast and after a mammogram and biopsy, it was determined to be cancer. After surgery and months of chemotherapy and radiation, she was cancer-free. However, she was left weak and without hope. A friend told her about the Y’s LIVESTRONG program for cancer survivors. She enrolled in the 12- week program and began her journey to better physical and mental health. Today, Cynthia says “If not for LIVESTRONG, I would be sitting at home feeling sorry for myself.” Fast forward to today and Cynthia is an inspiration, encouraging other survivors to participate in the program so they, too, will experience the strength, support, and love needed to heal.

“If not for LIVESTRONG, I would be sitting at home feeling sorry for myself.”

Fast forward to today and Cynthia is an inspiration, encouraging other survivors to participate in the program so they, too, will experience the strength, support, and love needed to heal.

More than a Gym and Swim, the Mansfield Area Y is a community resource offering access to the Y and its programs regardless of age or income. Programs include safe/ nurturing daycare and preschool, health/ fitness programs for all ages, youth sports/activities, exercise/social programs for active older adults and Silver Sneakers. Looking ahead into 2017, the Mansfield Area Y is collaborating with area agencies to address other chronic diseases such as Diabetes and Arthritis. Plans include offering LIVESTRONG to include children/young adult cancer-survivors. For 150 years, the Mansfield Area Y has served our community well; embracing change, meeting unmet needs through program offerings while staying true to its early mission.
You can visit the Mansfield Area YMCA at 750 Scholl Rd. in Mansfield, OH 44907 or reach them at 419-522-3511.

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