1711 Rhode Island Avenue, NW
“Today, the Board of Directors of the YMCA of Metropolitan Washington approved the decision to enter into a purchase agreement for the YMCA National Capital facility, located at 1711 Rhode Island Avenue, NW. As part of the Y’s longtime mission to support families, kids and its community, the nonprofit’s volunteer board and staff leadership are reallocating its limited resources and restructuring operations to meet changing needs and emerging gaps. The Y will continue to have a strong presence in the District, and its primary focus is transitioning its staff, members and services, as well as maintaining community outreach programs.
“This was not an easy decision, but as a nonprofit organization with limited resources, the YMCA must continually evaluate community needs against available resources to strike the right balance in fulfilling our mission,” said Keith Smith, Chair of the Board of Directors for the YMCA of Metropolitan Washington. “Our buildings may house us, but they do not define us. We have a tremendous opportunity to grow and broaden our reach, but in order to do so, we have to establish more appropriate and efficient models for service delivery.”
While the YMCA National Capital facility has served the downtown business district for 37 years, the needs of the community require that the Y evolve its approach to a community/ neighborhood-based model where it can serve more children and families. With more than 30 like-service providers within walking distance, membership at the YMCA National Capital has declined from a peak of 11,000 to today’s 3,400. As a result, the facility operates at an increasing financial deficit. The Y has invested more than $1.5 million in capital improvements in the building, but because the investments necessarily addressed inefficiencies of the facility and not aesthetics, they did not spur membership growth. After reviewing several proposals, the YMCA has selected a developer with which to move forward. The facility will close as a YMCA as of December 31, 2015. (more…)