News & Updates

YMCA Makes Wellness More Accessible

Posted on January 16th, 2020 at 8:45 AM
YMCA Makes Wellness More Accessible

Erie, PA – It is no secret that health care costs rank among the top concerns of local employers for much of the last decade – especially here in Erie County which ranks among the most unhealthy counties in Pennsylvania.

The YMCA of Greater Erie recognizes its role in removing barriers to health and wellness – which includes affordable access as well as convenience.

The Y’s expanded financial assistance program structure now includes four levels of income and subsidy to make sure that the Y’s program reflects the median household income of Erie County (Source: Erie Vital Signs County – $48,000, City- $36,000).

“Y’s are reflections of the local community; we want a program that is flexible to help people when they need us most,” said Gerry Vandemerwe, YMCA of Greater Erie CEO.

For example, a family of four can earn as much as $75,300 and qualify for a 25% subsidy and that same family of four can earn as much as $25,100 and qualify for a 75% subsidy. Each award considers factors such as income, family size, household expenses and personal circumstances.

“We don’t pretend to know what is going on in someone’s personal life. We find, more often than not, our public persona is not necessarily an accurate reflection of what is going on behind closed doors,” said Vandemerwe.

“If the Y can help you and your family, simply come to your local Y location and ask for an application for the Financial Assistance program – or you may download from”

The financial assistance program includes subsidies for membership, childcare and programs such as summer camp.

In addition, employees working in downtown Erie may now hop on a free YMCA shuttle bus during the lunch time which avoids the hassle and time of finding a place to park and walking to and from the employer’s parking lot.

The shuttle service is provided free to Y members and observes the following schedule Monday-Friday:

State Street facing SOUTH between W. 2 & W. 3 @ 11:45 a.m.
North Park Row facing EAST between State & French @ 11:54 a.m.

Depart DTY 1:05 p.m.
Drop EAST on W. 3 & State Street
Drop SOUTH on French St. & North Park Row

For more information about the shuttle service or financial assistance, contact Tammy Roche at (814) 452-1432 ext. 252 or