Timeline

1844

1853

YMCA of San Francisco founded in a small suite of rooms on Portsmouth Square in Chinatown

1871

First Chinese-American YMCA is founded in San Francisco

1887

20th Street Mission branch opens

1891

James Naismith invents basketball at YMCA Springfield College, Massachusetts

1898

The Army Y establishes in the Presidio during the Spanish American War (pictured at the top of page)

1908

Army Navy YMCA (now Embarcadero YMCA) opens

1910

Boy Scouts of America is founded with the help of the YMCA

President Taft dedicates Y building on Golden Gate Ave. (now Shih Yu-Lang Central YMCA)

1922

President Taft dedicates Y building on Golden Gate Ave. (now Shih Yu-Lang Central YMCA)

1924

San Mateo branch (now Peninsula Family YMCA) opens

1926

Chinatown YMCA facility on Sacramento Street dedicated

“The boys have no place to go after school to spend their leisure moments. Our small room is crowded every evening with these bright and promising boys. There are about a thousand such boys in San Francisco.”

1934

YMCA Camp Jones Gulch facility opens in La Honda

1936

Japanese YMCA dedicated (now Buchanan YMCA)

1944

The Y supports millions of POWs and Japanese-Americans in internment camps during WWII

1946

John R. Mott, long-serving Y volunteer, awarded Nobel Peace Prize, for contributing to the creation of a peace-promoting brotherhood across national boundaries

1954

Golden West YMCA dedicated (now Stonestown Family YMCA)

1976

The Y launches cardiovascular health program

1977

YMCA Point Bonita Outdoor and Conference Center dedicated in Marin Headlands

1987

Marin YMCA facility opens with sold-out membership 

1994

The Y formally defines character as a demonstration of four core values: caring, honesty, respect and responsibility

1995

Urban Services branch chartered to guarantee access of YMCA resources to underserved families, offering peer counseling, tutoring, and structured recreation

1996

Programs began in Bayview Hunters Point in a space at Bayview Shopping Center

1997

The Y returns to historic Presidio as Presidio Community YMCA in renovatced space

2004

Charles Collins joins the YMCA of San Francisco as CEO

2010

Y of the USA adopts a new vibrant brand

First Lady Michelle Obama chooses the Y as a partner to launch the pillars of her “Let’s Move” campaign against childhood obesity

2013

The Y celebrates 160 years of serving San Mateo, Marin and San Francisco communities

2014

The Y forms a new Central Branch in partnership with Parks & Recreation and the Boys & Girls Club