The Richmond District YMCA is proud to be part of the community the last 100 years. We will share our history, highlight your stories and provide updates on our upcoming events.
The Y’s cause of strengthening the foundations of community through youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility have been present in the work of the Richmond District YMCA since its beginnings as the Park Presidio YMCA in 1922.
Thank you for being part of the Richmond District YMCA over the last 100 years. We are so lucky to be part of a great neighborhood to grow, learn and thrive with the community (or with YOU). We look forward to continuing our traditions with you and your family and creating many new ones along the way.
"I first joined the Y in 1990, not knowing anything about exercise. I quickly became a regular in the group exercise classes, building friendships with other members and with instructors. I recall how fun and competitive the annual fundraising campaign was. I even remember when the "big bosses" held meetings in 1996 to discuss the future of the Richmond District YMCA. That's when they converted the Preschool into what is now the cardio room.”
- Caroline, a long time Richmond District YMCA member and volunteer
"I started coming to the Richmond District Y when I was 3 years old, when the main cardio room was a pre-school. So this Y in particular holds a very special place in my heart. So much of who I am today has been fostered by the Y - from Summer Camp to Afterschool Programs to the Fitness Centers and the incredible people who make up the Y community. I could go on and on about why I love the Y."
- Tammy V, a long time Richmond District YMCA member
The Richmond District YMCA was established in 1922 during an expansion phase of the YMCA of San Francisco. It began as the Richmond Branch, but was soon changed to the Park-Presidio branch.
By the 1940’s, the Park Presidio (Richmond District) branch was serving 381 boys and girls. Youth were organized into 23 groups and clubs focused on outdoor field trips, campaign, teen service clubs, and dances.
Through the “Building Our Youth” fundraising campaign, money was raised to finance the rebuilding of the facility. The current building is reminiscent of the 1953 remodel in its use and features, without the second story which would come in later years.
In a time of racial tension and unrest around the country, the YMCA as a whole, and the Richmond District YMCA in particular, was setting an example of what it means to bring together a diverse community. In this photo, Park Presidio (Richmond District) YMCA’s chairman is acting as the umpire at a baseball game.
By the 1960’s, the Park Presidio (Richmond District) YMCA has become much more than a place for children. Regular membership campaigns expanded adult involvement. The Y was a safe place for teens to come together for dances, music, service clubs, and trips.
The increased interest in health and fitness in the 1970’s led many YMCA’s to expand their fitness facilities and classes. At this time the name changed to the Richmond District YMCA and part of the building was converted to a new fitness center and was actively enrolling members.
By the late 1980’s, the Richmond District YMCA began to look like a YMCA you would walk into today. The branch was focused on senior programs, health and fitness services, and youth programs.
The Richmond District YMCA began working with the San Francisco Foodbank in the late 1990’s. Since then, the Y has distributed millions of pounds of to immigrants and seniors in the neighborhood.
The Richmond District YMCA is committed to helping young people learn, grow, and connect with each other and their community. The branch offered afterschool programs, a middle school teen center, the Children’s Dance and Creative Movement program, and High School Fitness Leadership Exercise (FLEX) program and activities.
Richmond District YMCA renovated our facility to create functional spaces and expand our services. This project led to serving more members and creating meaningful relationships with our community.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Richmond District Y facility shifted from operating as a fitness center to becoming a Community Learning Hub as well as expanded its food distribution services to people struggling with food insecurity. Emergency childcare programs were offered at some childcare sites. Safety-net programs including job, housing and mental health supports were offered. Virtual wellness and academic support were also offered to children, families, and active older adults.
Kids returned to classrooms and after school care after a long 2 years of virtual and hybrid learning. The facility was reactivated as a fitness facility in December and the community continues to bounce back from a very difficult period in history.
We are a place where everyone can come to grow, connect, and thrive in the midst of their daily lives and the challenges of today. Our history has required us to be both innovative and steadfast, creating and refining programs and services that meet our communities’ most essential needs with fresh solutions.