The Warm, Optimistic, Supportive Home Everyone Hopes for, The YMCA

When one goes to look for the website for the old National Capital branch of the YMCA you will find “closed” in large text at the top of the page with a link to a statement from Angie L. Reese-Hawkins the current President and CEO of the YMCA. Whoever wrote the webpage prefaces the link to Hawkins statement by saying that the YMCA is constantly assessing and evaluating so that they can stay important and relevant with their “limited nonprofit resources, which can include restructuring operations” (Hawkins). Hawkins’s statement starts off by talking about the YMCA’s mission to provide for the Washington DC community, its families and kids. Their demographic is lower income families to provide “programs that help healthy spirit, mind and body for all” (Hawkins) The point of the Y was never to be a cheaper gym that wealthy people can take advantage of.

Hawkins goes on to reassure the people that use the gym that “there now are more than 30 like-service providers within walking distance” allowing for little to no effect on those who utilize the gym. The YMCA came to that area because there were people that needed them, since then the area has cleaned up and honestly, experienced a massive wave of gentrification. The gentrification has increased the mean wage and increased the property tax and forced the YMCA’s hand to leave the area.

This map shows the massive gentification in DC the area. The National Capitol YMCA was located in the area of the two dark blue squares above the national mall.
This map shows the massive gentrification in DC the area. The National Capitol YMCA was located in the area of the two dark blue squares above the national mall.

Hawkins then addresses that closing this facility will allow for them to focus more on the Anthony Bowen Y, only one mile away. Hawkins’s rhetoric focuses on key words such as “healthier,” “happier,” “enriching” and “wellness” which all provide an optimistic outlook for this closing. Hawkins is making sure to reassure everyone that they will not be left without a home, and that everyone that really did utilize the downtown YMCA will still have a place to facilitate those needs that is relatively close by. Hawkins also makes sure to let everyone know that the profits that come from the sale of the building will go right back into the improvement of the YMCA’s footprint in the region. Allowing for more programs, better equipment and more employment opportunities for people who need it. The voice behind the statement is to make sure that no one worries about the closing and that the YMCA will continue to live out its mission in the District of Columbia.

After reading the statement I started to navigate through the website and found it very easy to find everything that I would imagine one needs to know about the YMCA. The YMCA logo is everywhere on every page, in blue and purple. For me these colors are warm and homelike, providing appeal to stay on the page.

These are the locations of YMCA's in the DC area
These are the locations of YMCA’s in the DC area

When going to the Anthony Bowen location page the first thing that I see is “welcome” at the top, with the hours of operation and contact information side by side right under it. Scroll down half a page and you see all the different programs that are provided for the YMCA community. You can tell as you navigate through the website that this was built for the ease and comfort of the person searching through it. They do not want anyone to miss out on any opportunity or feel that they are not wanted because they aren’t tech savvy. There are no annoying pop-ups or advertisements as you change pages, the only advertisements are social medias such as Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Youtube, as well as Google.

The YMCA provides comfort and support for anyone who needs it and is constantly on the outlook to improve the community around it, which is clearly seen through the structure and layout of the website.

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