The roots of the YMCA of Paterson are buried deep in the history of the “Silk City.” During our nation’s tragic Civil War, several young men gathered in a local congregational church, wrote a constitution and, according to one contemporary source, planned ”an interesting course of social, intellectual, and spiritual exercises.”
From its early beginning in 1863 until 1867, the YMCA of Paterson seemed to alternate between periods of great popularity and community involvement and intervals of inactivity and public appeals for membership.
Our present YMCA headquarters opened on September 14, 1930. This facility was constructed when the 137 Ellison Street location became too small to accommodate the varied needs of the residence, youth, and physical departments. The new facility was built at a cost of $1,500,000. Shortly after moving in, the YMCA of Paterson initiated a relief and job referral service for victims of the Depression. During World War II, pre-induction physical training was offered to potential military recruits.
The YMCA of Paterson has shifted its course from a predominantly recreational facility to a community center that offers housing to vulnerable populations, as well as social, cultural, and educational services for people of all ages. The staff of the YMCA of Paterson takes pride in this ability to adapt our programs to meet the current needs of the community. The staff of the YMCA of Paterson hails predominantly from the Paterson community and reflects the rich diversity of this city