YMCA New American Welcome Center

Para servicios en español en el YMCA, llame a Jose Santiago at 717-825-1928

HELPING NEWCOMERS THRIVE

In January of 2018, the national YMCA organization honored the YMCA of York and York County as one of the fifteen YMCAs to expand its community service work, granting it the title of YMCA New American Welcoming Center and creating a culture of inclusivity for all individuals and their families. In 2021, the New American Welcome Center expanded into Lancaster and is continuing its inspiring work in that community as part of the merged YMCA of the Roses.

The Need

COVID has been particularly challenging for the immigrant population. A lack of knowledge about relief programs and government assistance, when combined with language barriers, has led to a higher mortality rate and greater economic impact for immigrants in the United States. In addition, about 11 million undocumented immigrants in the country often are ineligible for or hesitant to seek government assistance, further adding to their struggles.

However, even in normal times, recent arrivals to the country are often at an economic disadvantage. The poverty rate for immigrants is over 43% higher than for native-born residents (14.1% vs. 9.8% in 2017). In addition, the median household income for foreign born residents was 8% lower than native-born residents in 2017 ($57,273 vs $61,987). In York and Lancaster Counties, there are an increasing number of foreign residents, with individuals coming from countries ranging from Haiti to Somalia.

Our Work

The New American Welcome Center works personally with individuals from diverse backgrounds to meet their unique needs. The center’s work focuses on three main areas:

Case Management Services – Program staff are deeply connected with the local community and are able to collaborate with other groups and organizations to connect clients with services and programs

Examples

  • Literacy program referrals
  • Educational programs
  • Workforce development

Inclusion Building Events -Along with YMCA staff, the New American Welcome Center staff coordinate community-wide cultural events to raise awareness of the diversity that exists in the area and build relationships between different ethnic and cultural groups

Examples

  • Welcoming Week Celebration
  • Coordination of cultural events
  • Outreach to and education for local organizations

Direct Assistance – The YMCA works with the New American Welcome Center to provide clients with direct assistance to meet their urgent needs

Examples

  • Employee/Employer referrals and application assistance
  • Emergency housing
  • Rent/Utility assistance

For York County clients, contact Deb Detzel at 717-819-0180 or [email protected] 

For Lancaster County clients, contact Jordyn Kapustka at 240-412-7926 or [email protected]

To hear about the program from a family it serves, watch the below video!