As your YMCA, we are aware we fill many roles in many lives. We are a place where people improve their physical well-being, but we also know that, for many people, we are an essential source of community, family support, spiritual growth and more.
In light of growing concerns around the COVID-19 pandemic and a desire to protect our staff, members, program participants, and community from the risks of potential exposure, our Board of Directors and leadership team have made the decision to close all of our facilities and programming for members effective 5PM March 17th through April 5th. This includes all programs and services provided at the Ascension St Vincent YMCA, Dunigan Family YMCA, YMCA Camp Carson, and Caldwell Community Center. We will re-open on April 6th.
Although no member or staff have tested positive at our facilities for COVID-19, we believe that continuing to operate and run programming during this time would be counterproductive to protective social distancing measures.
We don’t take lightly any decisions to suspend or cancel programs or services. We carefully consider how those decisions affect our members’ lives—including their families, their ability to work and their sense of community.
The mission of the Y is bigger than a building. As we have served the Evansville community since 1857, we’ve learned that our longevity comes from our responsibility to our mission. At every turn, we’ve learned more about what it means to step up and lead in challenging times and be there for those who need us most.
We’re already pivoting our work and resources to respond to community needs. Recently, we re-allocated Childcare staff to care for the children of essential personnel of Ascension St Vincent and Deaconess Health System. That important work will continue offsite during our facility closure. We are also distributing food bags to children and families in need around our Caldwell Community Center to combat food insecurity and ensure children have access to healthy meals.
We are actively developing even more ways to serve our community at a time when we are needed the most but want to do so in a safe manner for everyone. Maintaining your membership dues and donating help the Y tremendously, as we take on additional work to meet the growing and evolving needs of our fellow community members who are economically or medically vulnerable.
We understand that this news may be disappointing, but we did not believe the risk to staff or members justified perceived benefits. While we are closed, we are committed to sharing opportunities with you so you can stay connected, active and healthy, and safe. Look for additional upcoming communication with new online digital resources.
Thank you for your continued support and prayers for our YMCA community, as well as our community at large as we all navigate through this together.
“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”
– Romans 8:28