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After years of being a major force in Charlotte, what’s the future of the YMCA?

Johnston YMCA.
Johnston YMCA.

When the YMCA of Greater Charlotte announced in May that it would be closing its Johnston branch by the end of the year, there was an outcry. The Johnston YMCA was a fixture in the NoDa neighborhood — known not just as a place to exercise, but to gather for summer camps and community.

The pandemic took a hit on many gyms nationwide, and the YMCA is included in that list. The Charlotte Observer reported that according to the YMCA’s tax records, total revenue was down more than 28% from 2019 to 2021, the most recent year for which records are available.

So what comes next for the YMCA of Greater Charlotte? And what trends are the YMCA experiencing nationwide? How does the organization need to pivot in order to survive? We find out next time on Charlotte Talks.


Joseph Angelon, senior vice president of operations at YMCA of Greater Charlotte
Michael DeVaul, national executive director, Boys and Young Men of Color at The YMCA
Jodie Valade, Charlotte Observer enterprise reporter

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Sarah Delia is a Senior Producer for Charlotte Talks with Mike Collins. Sarah joined the WFAE news team in 2014. An Edward R. Murrow Award-winning journalist, Sarah has lived and told stories from Maine, New York, Indiana, Alabama, Virginia and North Carolina. Sarah received her B.A. in English and Art history from James Madison University, where she began her broadcast career at college radio station WXJM. Sarah has interned and worked at NPR in Washington DC, interned and freelanced for WNYC, and attended the Salt Institute for Radio Documentary Studies.