What is the Open Doors Program?
We believe that everyone in our community should have the opportunity to benefit from YMCA programs and services. We are a community-based nonprofit with the mission to “Help people reach their God-given potential in spirit, mind and body”. Our Open Doors Program is central to our mission. When someone loses a job, when medical bills become overwhelming, or when other challenging situations occur, people need the support of the Y. This Open Doors program offers a fee scale to fit the financial situation of individuals in our community. We want all people to be involved with the programs and services of the Y that nurture spirit, mind and body—especially during difficult times when they are needed most.
In the past five years, the YMCA of Northwest North Carolina has provided more than $10 million in financial assistance.
Who does the Open Doors program serve?
Our Open Doors Program helps anyone in the community who desires to become part of our YMCA family. We frequently assist:
- Youth referred by schools, churches and organizations
- Adults (and their families) who are temporarily out of work
- Adults on fixed incomes
- Single parent families
What programs qualify for assistance?
Financial Assistance is offered for YMCA programs including:
- Individual and household branch memberships
- Before and after school care
- Overnight and summer day camp
- Sports, aquatics and other programs
How much assistance will be provided?
The level of assistance depends on the extent of need and the cost of programs. No one is turned away from the Y because of an inability to pay. However, it is unusual that 100% of the fee is provided since recipients develop a stronger sense of ownership when contributing partially to their involvement
How do I get assistance?
- Contact the nearest YMCA branch and request an Open Doors Application.
A Spanish Open Doors Application is also available.
- Provide Required information: in order to process your application, you must attach copies of the following items to your completed application. This application will be processed only in the application is complete and the required items are attached:
- A copy of your most recent tax return (1040 or 1040EZ) for everyone living in the household, or verification of non-filing (phone number for IRS is 1-800-829-0922)
- The last 2 paycheck stubs of everyone in the household who is working
- Proof of Social Security or Social Security Disability Income, if applicable
- Proof of any other sources of income, if applicable (e.g. Unemployment Compensation, Food Stamps, etc.)
- A copy of your school schedule if applying for child care and you are a non-working student
- Please allow 10 days to process your application. After this period a YMCA representative will contact you with approval or to request further information.
Note: If you do not have a copy of your tax return, you may obtain one by calling the Internal Revenue Service at 1-800-829-0922. If you did not file taxes last year, or if you don’t have other documentation required, please submit a letter explaining your personal financial situation.
Note: If required documentations is not complete, this will delay the process.
How long will assistance continue?
Assistance is provided for a specific time period and will be reviewed for eligibility every year. If help is still needed when assistance is reviewed, you will be asked to re-apply. If your circumstances change before the time period is up, please let us know so we may serve others.
Why does the YMCA request financial information?
With information on income and family size, we can award assistance in a fair and consistent manner. We use these procedures to ensure that everyone receives equal consideration.
Who will see the financial information?
Personal financial information is handled in a confidential manner and will be seen and reviewed only by the YMCA’s professional staff. No information is shared with any other agency or organization.
Who provides funding for the Open Doors Program?
The Open Doors Program is possible through the generosity of donors to our Annual Giving Campaign. All money raised through our Annual Giving Campaign goes directly to provide assistance through our Open Doors Program. The YMCA also receives funding as a participating United Way Agency. We want to be good stewards of the money awarded, and therefore strongly encourage you to use the membership/program(s).