YMCA New American Welcome Center

Para servicios en español en el YMCA, llame a Jose Santiago at 717-825-1928


In January of 2018, the national YMCA organization honored the YMCA of York and York County as one of the fifteen YMCAs to expand its community service work, granting it the title of YMCA New American Welcoming Center and creating a culture of inclusivity for all individuals and their families. In 2021, the New American Welcome Center expanded into Lancaster and is continuing its inspiring work in that community as part of the merged YMCA of the Roses.

The Need

COVID has been particularly challenging for the immigrant population. A lack of knowledge about relief programs and government assistance, when combined with language barriers, has led to a higher mortality rate and greater economic impact for immigrants in the United States. In addition, about 11 million undocumented immigrants in the country often are ineligible for or hesitant to seek government assistance, further adding to their struggles.

However, even in normal times, recent arrivals to the country are often at an economic disadvantage. The poverty rate for immigrants is over 43% higher than for native-born residents (14.1% vs. 9.8% in 2017). In addition, the median household income for foreign born residents was 8% lower than native-born residents in 2017 ($57,273 vs $61,987). In York and Lancaster Counties, there are an increasing number of foreign residents, with individuals coming from countries ranging from Haiti to Somalia.

Our Work

For Language & Education:

  1. Free, open-entry ESL classes and referrals to other ESL programs
  2. Facilitating enrollment of children in school
  3. Assisting in connection to quality childcare
  4. Advising and assistance for GED, community college and vocational school access

For Economic Integration & Employment:

  1. Educating and assisting with obtaining bank accounts
  2. Educating and support in navigating IRS and other tax paperwork
  3. Assisting with completing job applications
  4. Facilitating employee/employer referrals

For Health & Well-being:

  1. Connecting clients to medical and dental care.
  2. Navigating medical financial assistance applications when needed
  3. Connecting clients with basic needs of food, clothing, shelter, utilities, and household necessities
  4. Assisting with transportation to appointments when necessary
  5. Supporting schools and school enrollment; help in obtaining required immunizations
  6. Establishing and maintaining relationships of support to connect clients with resources in the community and with donations of needed items

For Citizenship & Civic Engagement:

  1. Assisting with understanding immigration paperwork and requirements of the immigration processes
  2. Providing transportation and assistance at local immigration offices and services
  3. Educating about and introducing American culture and community involvement

For Community Development:

  1. Building relationships and opportunities with interested groups and organizations within the community to educate and connect to local immigrant/migrant community members
  2. Building awareness and responsiveness within the community service providers by sharing information and cultural insight about newcomer groups within our community, and working together to identify and lessen barriers to access.

For York County clients, contact Deb Detzel at 717-819-0180 or [email protected] 

For Lancaster County clients, contact Jordyn Kapustka at 717-393-9622 x1112 or [email protected]

To hear about the program from a family it serves, watch the below video!