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history of ymca

There are currently 11,500 Y members in Yellowstone County, nearly one in ten residents belongs to the YMCA and many more participate in Y programs. We offer programs for a variety of ages ranging from 6 months old to seniors. The Y offers opportunities for individuals and families to grow in spirit, mind and body at every life stage. People are part of the Billings Family YMCA for different reasons; some come for the quick workout, to learn to swim, play in a basketball league, or bring their children to sports programs, preschool or daycare.

The Billings Family YMCA was established as a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit charitable organization in 1905. The first building location was on the southwest corner of North 29th Street, currently the Wendy's building. The Billings Family YMCA moved into its current location, 402 North 32nd Street and Fourth Ave North in 1953.

Together, the nation's 2,685 YMCAs are the largest not–for–profit community service organization in America, working to meet the health and human service needs of 20.2 million men, women and children in 10,000 communities in the United States. YMCA's are at the heart of community life across the country: 42 million families and 72 million households are located within three miles of a YMCA.


The Billings Family YMCA is one of the largest providers in youth programming in Yellowstone County and is clearly positioned to take a significant lead in Youth Development. Collaboration is critical to Y's efforts to develop and implement effective community-based solutions. The Billings Family YMCA works with elementary schools, middle schools, high schools, home school programs, hospitals, churches, sport organizations and many other service organizations.

The Billings Family YMCA provides families the opportunity to have safe, affordable exercise and fitness for their children in an environment that stresses both the core values of honesty, caring, respect and responsibility and programs to develop healthy lifestyles.


The Billings Family YMCA make sure that everyone, regardless of age, background or income has the opportunity to learn, grow and thrive. The YMCA provides financial aid to youth, families and community members that do not have the resources to take advantage of YMCA programs and membership. No one is turned away from programs or membership due to an inability to pay.

Each year, the YMCA provides more than $250,000 in financial aid to members of the community.


Since our founding, the Billings Family YMCA has provided health and wellness programs as an integral part of our mission. The YMCA has a strong history of being a community leader in the healthcare field and working with youth and adults. Our partnership with St. Vincent Healthcare, "Fit Together," has grown into a model program in addressing weight and health for people who have been otherwise reluctant to engage in exercise.


The mission of the YMCA is "To put Christian principles into practice through programs that build healthy spirit, mind and body for all." Through effective board, staff and volunteer leadership, the YMCA achieves this mission through collaborations with other community institutions and civic groups. Just as integral to our mission, is providing human services such as job training, teen leadership opportunities, volunteer opportunities and social opportunities for seniors. Our goal is to provide quality programs which enhance the mind, body and spirit of individuals, families and the communities in which we serve…with special emphasis on youth.
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