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The Y is here for all. We serve people of all ages, backgrounds, abilities, and incomes. Thanks to generous support from donors to our Annual Impact Fund, scholarship funds are available for membership, and programs (including swim lessons, youth sports, community health programs, and more). 

The Y offers sliding-scale fees to fit each individual's or family's financial situation. But ultimately, we do not turn away anyone for the inability to pay.

What Is The Open Doors Program?

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We are a community-based nonprofit with the mission to “Help all 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 six years, the YMCA of Northwest North Carolina has provided more than $10 million in financial scholarships.

How Do I Get Assistance?

1) Contact the nearest YMCA branch and request an Open Doors Application. A Spanish Open Doors Application is also available.

2) 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 if 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 1-800-908-9946)
  • 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

3) 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 documentation is not complete, the process will be delayed.

Download the Open Doors Application Here

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Frequently Asked Questions

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

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.

Assistance is provided for a specific time period and will be reviewed for eligibility every two years (every year for Summer Day Camp and Before and After School Academy). 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.

Financial Scholarships are 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

The Open Doors program is possible through the generosity of donors to our Annual Impact Fund. All money raised through our Annual Impact Fund 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).

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.

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.

Our Mission: "Helping all people reach their God-given potential in spirit, mind and body."