YWCA Minneapolis to close 2 fitness and pool operations

YWCA Minneapolis to close 2 fitness and pool operations

YWCA Minneapolis to close 2 fitness and pool operations

YWCA Minneapolis is closing two fitness and pool operations in a couple of months to reshift focus to make a bigger impact.

For some YWCA Minneapolis members, the Uptown location is all-around convenient.

“It’s very close to around where I live, it doesn’t take even five minutes to get there,” James Frazier, YWCA Minneapolis member, said.

Neighbors come to the gym several times a week to use the pool and the fitness area.

But in a couple of months, members will have to choose a new gym in Minneapolis.

“I was very, very devastated and there’s so many things about YWCA that are perfect for me,” Frazier said.

In November, YWCA Minneapolis is revamping the non-profit, starting with closing the Uptown location and the fitness center downtown. The childcare center will remain open. The popular swim programs that have been around for decades are also shutting down.

The closures are causing nearly 100 people to lose their jobs.

“It’s really hard. We’ve had to say goodbye to 85 folks that have been with us. There’s never really a silver lining about something like that,” Shelley Carthen Watson, YWCA Minneapolis president and CEO, said.

Carthen Watson said the goal is to dedicate more money and resources to more impactful programming like childhood education, youth programs and racial justice.

“We thought this was the time for us to pivot and pave a new way forward and double down and focus our efforts and those areas,” Carten Watson said.

Carthen Watson saw a shift in needs after the pandemic after student test scores declined and mental health challenges worsened among the youth.

She explained the changes align with their mission to make young people their first priority.

“We really felt that the needs of the community have changed and it’s always been part of our history to respond to those changes and adapt our offerings to them,” she said.

The fitness and pool operations at the downtown and Uptown locations will close on Nov. 1. The Midtown location will stay open.