Pandemic Forced Kalamazoo YMCA To Re-purpose; Slow Return Begins
The Kalamazoo YMCA was like many local organization affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, forced to close the doors of its health club operation. But the YMCA has always been more than a gym, and the past few months have seen it adjust to the current situation.
The YMCA mission has long been youth development, in addition to "healthy living". With the mandated shutdown of the gym facilities, and a major new and immediate need for child care and nutrition, the Y evolved in March to meeting that need. It began providing 1,000 meals daily in late March.
Providing child care for parents who suddenly found themselves with their children's school being closed, became the another immediate need. Funding was found and operation shifted to providing a safe environment for those children. It also kept employees working and not joining the ranks of the unemployed.
As the state's shutdown orders being to loosen, plans are being formulated to resume the health living portion of the organization's mission statement.
Beginning with the governor's own statements, the goal is to have gym facilities open across the state sometime around the Fourth of July. In it's own words, the YMCA says that will being with "baby steps", with outdoor activities and tennis facilities leading a re-opening on or after June 8th.
Day camps will being on June 15th, but enrollment began earlier this year and is currently full.
All this is still under the same cloud many are facing currently, a strained budget.
At the moment, Covid-19 related news seems to be getting a little better, and this should help the Y back to more normal operations.