General Question

dalepetrie's avatar

Is the YMCA pretty much just another gym these days?

Asked by dalepetrie (18009points) May 15th, 2009

I used to have a family membership to the YMCA (up until I lost my job), and we used to go there to swim, work out, walk, etc. Basically I saw swimming pools, some times hot tubs, saunas & steam rooms, exercise equipment, a walking/running track, tennis/racquetball courts, basketball courts, on site child care, free weights, locker rooms, classrooms, basically pretty much the things I have seen at other gyms I’ve been to like Bally’s, YWCA, Northwest, etc.

But I’ve always heard that if you happened to be a drug addicted young man who didn’t have a home or anything to eat, you could stay there, it would be fun to do so in fact, and while you got yourself clean, they would provide you with a good meal, and then essentially let you do whatever you feel, even if that meant having tons of man on man sex with a wide variety of costumed and uniformed macho men. But all the times I’ve been there, I’ve never seen anything that resembles a boarding room, a drug rehab facility, or a soup kitchen, and short of the steam room and locker rooms, I don’t see any place for costumed gay men to get it on.

Have I been misinformed? Do these activities only go on at certain YMCAs? Or is this a relic of a past era, something that used to be true, but no longer is?

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14 Answers

TROLL's avatar

Don’t drop your soap in the showers.

FrankHebusSmith's avatar

I used to work at a YMCA and I never witnessed transients (or for that matter anyone) staying the night or seemingly recovering from things. I do know that they offer a lot of classes, including help groups that often time are for drug addicts and what not. But BASICALLY it is pretty much a normal gym now.

bea2345's avatar

Several years ago I was in Philadelphia. My stay was longer than anticipated, and it was Travelers’ Aid which helped me find cheaper accommodation – is Travelers’ Aid still in business? – at the Philadelphia YWCA. I had my own room, it was immaculately clean and rather bare, curtains, but no rug on the stone floor, dresser, upright chair, wardrobe and bed. I don’t know about the YMCA, but the YWCA was a real life saver.

Supacase's avatar

The YMCAs around here are mostly just gyms, but there is one smaller location near downtown that is a youth center with programs and after-school care.

I have heard things similar to what you mention about boarding rooms, but have never seen any evidence of it. Maybe it is just in large cities?

boffin's avatar

.…just another gym these days?

Pretty much.
Most gyms have an Indian a Cop and a Construction Worker…

eponymoushipster's avatar

yeah, it’s the optimal gym for meeting other fellas.

justwannaknow's avatar

Yes, just gyms now. Most people that use them do not even know what Y.M.C.A. stands for.

eponymoushipster's avatar

young men crave anal?

dalepetrie's avatar

Yeah, the Young Men’s “Christian” Association, known as a gay sex hangout…what’s next, Catholic Priests molesting young boys? wait…

SeventhSense's avatar

It was once a benevolent organization before these clowns co-opted the franchise.

Sscoolio's avatar

It’s like a gym with slobbering little kids everywhere… Oh, and it has a playplace.

Darwin's avatar

Our YMCA still has a scouting organization for kids. I think ours is called Indian Scouts still. However, I see online that YMCA has “YMCA Scouts” most places. Our local Y says it offers:
“services to the community [that] include Youth-in-Government, community youth development, Y-leaders clubs, after-school child care in five locations, summer camps and a full facility building in downtown.”

It also offers after school tutoring and sports programs for kids, plus scholarships and membership support to folks with no money. And swimming lessons.

However, it doesn’t offer a place to stay.

YARNLADY's avatar

In most large cities, there are several YMCA facilities, some residential, and some family activity/child care. It depends on where most of the funding comes from.

In San Francisco, there was an excellent residential facility where Hubby and I stayed with our new baby (years ago) in the Embarcadero Area.

There used to be a nice one in San Diego, also.

Fred931's avatar

Our YMCA is worse than all of that combined. Plus it smells weird.

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