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Free YMCA memberships available to foster, kinship families

| August 15, 2022

DOVER (WJER) (Aug. 15, 2022) – Tuscarawas County YMCA officials have been welcoming an influx of new members thanks to a new partnership with Ohio Job and Family Services.

The agency and the Ohio Alliance of YMCAs Foundation recently announced that they’re teaming up to provide free family memberships to certified foster homes and kinship caregivers. Tusc YMCA Marketing and Membership Director Kathleen Johnson says they’re happy to be able to give them a great environment to grow, learn, and thrive together. 

“And it’s just a great resource for families to use a facility like a YMCA to just be active with their family, provide these really great environments and experiences, and to be part of another large family.”

Ohio JFS is using COVID relief money to pay for half of eligible families’ membership fees for the next year, with a YMCA grant covering the remainder. Tuscarawas County JFS Director David Haverfield says it’s a tremendous opportunity that quite a few families have taken advantage of already.

“We actually had a number of families reach out to us already as soon as the press release hit. Locally, we didn’t know this was happening. We found out when about it everybody else did but a number of our foster families reached out because we need to verify for them in writing on our letterhead that they’re a foster family, they’ve taken a placement, those sorts of things, and we’ve done a lot of that over the last few days.”

There’s more information and a list of required documents on the Tuscarawas County YMCA’s Facebook page.

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