Our History

1844
The first YMCA is founded in London, England.

1852
The first YMCA in the USA opens in Boston, MA.

1882
YMCA of Michiana, Inc. begins operations in South Bend, IN. It operates out of temporary facilities until the Studebaker Corporation offers to build the Y a new building in 1902.

1908
YMCA of Michiana, Inc. opens its first permanent building in South Bend on the corner of Main and Wayne Streets.

1909
YMCA Camp Eberhart opens for its first summer of camp in Three Rivers, MI.

1926
Benton Harbor-St. Joseph YMCA is formed.

1927
Benton Harbor-St. Joseph YMCA opens its first facility in Benton Harbor, MI.

1944
A group of local businessmen bring the YMCA to Niles, MI and it operates out of a small office downtown while using local schools, churches, and parks to operate its programs.

1948
The YMCA of Niles is located in the “Old Colonial House” at 315 West Main.

1961
Original Niles-Buchanan YMCA facility on State Street opens.

1965
- YMCA of Michiana, Inc. moves to a new building located on Northside Boulevard in South Bend.
- YMCA Urban Youth Services is founded.

1970
Charles Martin becomes Executive Director of YMCA Urban Youth Services.

1981
- Benton Harbor-St. Joseph YMCA operations move to its current building on Hollywood Road in St. Joseph, MI.
- Inaugural Thanksgiving Day Run takes place in Niles, MI.

2006
Niles-Buchanan YMCA operations move to its current building on Front Street in Niles, MI.

2015
Benton Harbor-St. Joseph YMCA completes renovations and an expansion of its current building.

2017
Benton Harbor-St. Joseph YMCA and Niles-Buchanan YMCA merge to form YMCA of Southwest Michigan.

2020
- YMCA of Michiana, Inc., and YMCA of Southwest Michigan merge to form YMCA of Greater Michiana.
- YMCA of Greater Michiana and City of South Bend Venues Parks & Arts form a partnership. Y operations in South Bend are moved to O'Brien Fitness Center.

2021
Niles-Buchanan YMCA completes a 14,000 sq. ft. expansion of its current building.