The YM&YWHA of Washington Heights & Inwood (the Y) has been a pillar in our community for more than a century — a place where people of all ages and backgrounds can thrive. We educate the youngest among us, provide meals and companionship for those in their golden years, offer enriching activities for youth and their families, and so much more. We pride ourselves in the top-notch services we provide everyone who walks through our doors or attends any of the myriad of our offsite programs.
“Our staff genuinely cares about every one of our members and program participants,” said Martin G. Englisher, chief executive officer of the Y. “It’s our goal to not only provide the best planned programs, but also to lead with compassion in everything we do. We’re here to serve the community, and it’s what we do best.
“We currently are experiencing a situation like no other and are following the recommendations of official agencies on how to best proceed. As the spread of COVID-19 continues, we’re monitoring our options and keeping our constituents informed.”
Like many local organizations, the Y has canceled large events to help prevent the spread of the illness. It is evaluating other program changes and is continuously updating the community.
“We are committed to maintaining a vibrant community center,” said Englisher. “To that end, we are doing everything possible to stay open and continue our offsite programs. In addition to our already rigorous protocol, we increased the frequency for environmental cleaning on touched surfaces, doorknobs, and countertops. We also continue to share information to help people protect themselves and to prevent the spread of the illness.
“Our community is counting on us — working parents with children in our after-school programs, seniors who enjoy hot lunches with their Y friends, children with disabilities, and more. We provide services here and in the community to 1,000 people every day. The Y has always emphasized the importance of the well-being and safety of our members. We will continue to navigate this crisis and explore ways to serve our community with compassion and expertise.”
We are now facing a pandemic in New York with the new coronavirus (COVID-19). New York City has moved the public school system to remote learning until Monday, April 20, 2020. Students will not report to school buildings for instruction during this time.
For the health and safety of our community, all of the Y’s onsite programs are temporarily suspended.
We are launching a robust virtual program — The Y @ Home — with many fun and meaningful online events during this time when we’re unable to see each other in person. Details will be available soon.
Emergency food assistance is available through New York City’s Get Food NYC program. Contact them at nyc.gov/getfood or call 311.
We continue to manage and provide essential services at Wein House — a residence for low income seniors and physically disabled adults.
During this time, we will continue rigorous cleaning and disinfection. We are hopeful that we will be able to return to our regularly scheduled programs in the near future, while providing a safe and healthy environment for all.
Thank you all very much for your patience and understanding.