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Rochester, NY – In December 2021, the YMCA of Greater Rochester announced and adopted seven recommendations to redefine our urban services delivery model. Since that announcement, the YMCA has been using the recommendations as a framework to guide our work within the City of Rochester.

Part of those recommendations include looking at our current locations within the city to enhance programming both within and outside of those walls. The recommendations also called upon the YMCA to learn who and where we can partner with to offer more opportunities and services.

As we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, residents are seeking neighborhood-based access points for all the amenities and services needed to thrive. We’ve learned from community engagement efforts that resources like food, health care, support services, youth and senior services are all on the list of immediate needs.

That is why the YMCA is investing in the creation of three Neighborhood Centers: The Lewis Street Neighborhood Center, The Thurston Road YMCA Neighborhood Center and The Neighborhood Center at the Maplewood Family YMCA.

“The YMCA of Greater Rochester is ready to bring 168 years of service to transform how we strengthen communities,” said Dr. Daniele Lyman-Torres, Senior Vice President of Urban Services, YMCA of Greater Rochester. “It’s about people, and meeting people where they are. Pivoting to bring sustainability by creating Neighborhood Centers will strengthen a network that residents in each location can count on long term.”

The first Neighborhood Center opened in February – The Lewis Street YMCA Neighborhood Center. Now, the YMCA is pleased to introduce the second established Neighborhood Center – The Thurston Road YMCA Neighborhood Center (formerly known as the Southwest Family YMCA). Just as the YMCA did at Lewis Street, we will be holding community meetings to get input from residents on what they want and need, and how the YMCA can best support. All will be held at The Thurston Road YMCA Neighborhood Center at the following times and days:

  • 8 am | Friday, May 20
  • 7-8:30 pm | Monday, May 23
  • 7-8:30 pm | Thursday, May 26

“Working with the residents in the Marketview Heights neighborhood has been a wonderful experience in learning about all that the Y can be and do for people,” said Jessica Kingsley, Executive Director of Community Services, YMCA of Greater Rochester. “We’ve seen the desire for resources like Neighborhood Centers and we’re proud to bring services directly into communities, and partner with organizations to help support in different ways.”

Specific programming at each Neighborhood Center will be determined by community need and want. Each location will be open six to seven days a week. Plans will be announced in the near future for The Neighborhood Center at the Maplewood Family YMCA.

To accomplish this, we have successfully realigned longtime leadership within the Urban Services team:

  • Jessica Kingsley, Executive Director of Community Services, is overseeing all Neighborhood Centers as well as our Youth Services programming.
  • Vanessa Martell, Executive Director of Community Engagement and Wellness, is leading ongoing interactions and integration with neighbors, partners and create wellness opportunities throughout the city.
  • Laura Kroening, Senior Director of Administration, is leading consolidation efforts for our operations to be the most effective. Laura also oversees outcomes and data which are both critical to share as we look to serve more members of the Rochester community.
  • Ed Philps, Director of Facilities for Urban Services, has a vital role in ensuring that our facilities are exceeding quality standards in all YMCA locations.
  • Loren Montrallo, Director of Youth Services, is serving in a new role for the organization. A cornerstone of the YMCA’s mission is youth development. Montrallo will be providing leadership as we build and rebuild youth and teen services throughout the City of Rochester.
  • Jackob Elder, Brian Eastman and Brian Wilmot have been appointed directors of The Lewis Street YMCA Neighborhood Center, The Neighborhood Center at the Maplewood Family YMCA and The Thurston Road YMCA Neighborhood Center respectively. Their dedicated leadership will ensure that our centers are supporting members and residents as they engage with the YMCA and key partners from across the city.
  • Darnell Garland, Health and Wellness Director, is engaging residents across the City of Rochester in fitness opportunities and health education along their wellness journey.
  • Devon McFadden, Aquatics and Sports Director, is overseeing all sports and aquatics programming throughout the City of Rochester for both children and adults.
  • Denise Johnson, Executive Director, Urban Child Care Services, is overseeing child care services within the City of Rochester.