The YMCA is committed to implementing big and exciting steps to address the health problems facing local residents.

YMCA Centers are needed to deliver programs and head off a health catastrophe  in central Indiana.  In 2011 the YMCA of Greater Indianapolis promised to build three new YMCA’s to serve the heart of our city in Pike Township, the Meadows and downtown at CityWay.

The New England Journal of Medicine reports that today’s young people are expected to have shorter life spans than their parents – for the first time in U.S. history. Obesity among children has tripled in the last 30 years according to the CDC. Statistics show that one-third of all children born today will develop Type 2 diabetes during their lifetime. The 2016 American College of Sports Medicine’s Fitness Index Report ranked metro Indianapolis 50th out of 50 major U.S. cities in health. Poverty worsens these health problems, and 25% of Indianapolis residents live in poverty.

Like no other organization, the YMCA has the expertise, programs and resources to change the future of our city. Since its founding in 1854, the YMCA of Greater Indianapolis has strengthened the fabric of our community by focusing on youth development, healthy living and social responsibility.

Approximately one in every nine people in central Indiana directly experiences the benefits of Y membership. To make certain our services are accessible, we provide nearly $7 million annually in scholarships, subsidies and underwriting to serve vulnerable, low-income residents and neighborhoods.

More facilities were needed to ensure that everyone in the urban core of Indianapolis had access to Y programs. In response, the YMCA launched the $31 million “Strengthening the Heart of the City Campaign” to fund construction of new YMCA centers in Pike Township, in the Avondale Meadows neighborhood and downtown at the CityWay Development.

Strengthening the Heart of the City was designed to address the health and wellness needs of our community’s most vulnerable populations. Our goal is to make world-class wellness resources available to all people.

The following projects are part of the Heart of the City Campaign:

Pike Township is an urban residential community on the city’s northwest side. Pike faces the same critical community challenges as the rest of the metropolitan area including an accelerated number of lifestyle-related chronic illnesses in youth and adults. These illnesses can be traced to inactivity and obesity; greater levels of family stress; and increased social isolation. In Pike Township, students have the highest BMI (body-mass index) scores in the city and there is a critical shortage of safe, high-quality child care. There are additional challenges since the community is the most diverse in Indianapolis with more than 66 languages spoken by a large immigrant population, .

The Avondale Meadows YMCA is the first success from the Heart of the City Capital Campaign. Located in one of Indianapolis’ most challenged neighborhoods, the Avondale Meadows YMCA is part of a large-scale redevelopment project aimed at revitalizing the area. The facility opened on August 21, 2013 and received a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver Certification in construction.

Since 2013, the Avondale Meadows Y has provided:

  • Facilities and resources for members including a teen center; a state-of-the-art, fully equipped wellness center and a gymnasium.
  • The YMCA of Greater Indianapolis’ first fully licensed early childhood learning center
  • A home for the Y’s Urban Mission staff, leaders experienced in delivering programs to  low-income children and families

The YMCA at CityWay combines modern facilities with operational excellence. The new center, named for a generous commitment from the Irsay Family, opened in December 2015. This Y Center:

  • was called a “game changer” for the city by the Indianapolis Star and Inside Indiana Business.
  • provides health and fitness facilities for people who live and work downtown and in the adjoining underserved near-south and southeast-side neighborhoods.
  • Features a partnership with Franciscan Healthcare, which provides primary care and physical therapy in 12,000 sq. ft. of co-located space.
  • Serves as a hub for planning and developing tactics to achieve the Y’s  vision of becoming one of the top 10 healthiest communities in the nation.


On July 16, a groundbreaking ceremony was held for the new CityWay YMCA. The facility opened in late 2015.

Capital Campaign Downloads

File Link Valid Dates Note File Size
Pike YMCA – Heroes Health Hope Brochure 1.3 MB

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