Our Impact Why We Exist

Based on the principles of human dignity, equality, justice and peace, the mission of the YMCA of Okanagan is to support the development of strong individuals, families and communities in body, mind and spirit; to connect with and support the Y’s global family.

All YMCA programs are founded on inclusiveness, respect and growth and offered to all, regardless of age, gender, background, ability or financial circumstance. Inclusion and accessibility are of paramount importance to the YMCA as a whole.  The Y’s philosophy is to be ‘open to everyone’.  

Our Story What We Do

YMCA of Okanagan currently operates a total of 18 program sites including  2 recreational facilities, the Kelowna Family Y and H2O Adventure and Fitness Centre, 11 Childcare Centers and 1 Employment Program in Kelowna. In the South Okanagan, the YMCA operates 2 employment programs with 4 program sites in Summerland, Penticton, Princeton and Keremeos. 

The YMCA of Okanagan has a long and rich history of contributing to the building of a strong local economy through a variety of successful employment programs which have served diverse populations throughout the Okanagan. The YMCA of Okanagan has been delivering employment programs in the Central Okanagan community of Kelowna since 1997 and in Penticton since 2002. 

Our Programs How We Do It

As a mainstream charitable organization the YMCA  works with the whole community and has worked with barriered youth and adults in almost all aspects of its programming, including health and fitness, volunteerism, childcare, youth development and employment services and training.  The nature of the YMCA provides a healthy and positive environment for individuals and reinforces their connection to the larger community.

In the South Okanagan, the YMCA provides the following Employment programs:

Jumpstart Employment Essentials, Penticton, BC – Jumpstart is a 12 week program (6 week classroom, 8 week work experience) for youth-at-risk, combining classroom components, life skills certifications with workplace experience and wage subsidy funded by Service Canada. Jumpstart is focused on targeting multi-barriered youth at risk aged 15 to 30 years.

Duration: June 2008 

WorkBC, Penticton and Area  - WorkBC services include a full suite of employment services, with a flagship office in Penticton, two satellite offices in Summerland and Keremeos and services in the catchment area including Okanagan Falls to Princeton. WorkBC is funded by the Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation and Government of Canada through LMDA. WorkBC serves British Columbian jobseekers aged 16 to 65+ who are seeking employment and are legally eligible to work in BC. Services include a self-serve resource area, case management and case managed services including life skills and employability skills workshops, training access, wage subsidies (EI and Reachback participants only), self-employment, job development, customized employment, vocational and specialized assessments and case managed assistance for apprentices. The program serves persons with disabilities, aboriginals, youth, francophones, immigrants, rural and remote populations, multi-barriered individuals and survivors of violence and or abuse through our partner organizations.

Duration: April 1, 2012 

What You Can Do

Many youth accessing the Jumpstart program have little to no source of income and are  either homeless or at risk of homelessness. Because of this, many have mental health struggles and basic needs are not met, such as hunger. Therefore, the YMCA of Okanagan works with other local agencies to provide support for these youth. In addition, the YMCA raises funds to provide group and individual counselling as well as nutritional support to participants while they are in the Jumpstart program. During the first 6 weeks of intensive lifeskills education, the youth are vulnerable and many participants are at risk of dropping out without social, emotional support and basic necessities such as food. However, once youth are employed, their lives stabilize and they have a shot at becoming contributing members of our community.

You can help by donating cash and/or grocery gift cards are very much needed and appreciated. 


Allyson Graf
Charitable Number: 119240224RR0001

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Finance & Governance