About the Owensboro Family YMCA
Our mission is to put Christian principles into practice through programs that build a healthy spirit, mind and body for all.
1844 - George Williams joins with 11 friends to organize the first Young Men's Christian Association in industrialized London. The Y offers Bible study and prayer to help keep young men off the streets.
Dec. 29, 1851 - Sea captain and missionary Thomas Valentine Sullivan and six colleagues found the first Y at the Old South Church in Boston to create a safe€•home away from home for sailors and merchants.
1856 - In the absence of public schools, early Ys provide care for children of the poor through free Sunday and mission schools. The first Student Ys organize at universities in Tennessee, Virginia and Wisconsin to foster the leadership development of college students. The Cincinnati YMCA offers the nation's first English as a Second Language course for German immigrants.
1861 - A conference with President Abraham Lincoln leads to the recruitment of 5,000 Y volunteers who serve as surgeons, nurses and chaplains during the Civil War.
1867 - Chicago's Farwell Hall, the first known Y dormitory, is completed, offering safe and affordable housing to young men moving to cities from rural areas.
1872 - The first Railroad YMCA is organized in Cleveland as a partnership between the Y and railroad companies to offer lodging and meeting space for railroad workers.