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Everyone deserves the opportunity to live healthier, happier lives

The YMCA of Okanagan is a charity offering opportunities for personal growth, community involvement and leadership. We believe that everyone should have equal access to critical YMCA programs and services that support their health and wellbeing. 
 
The YMCA Financial Assistance Program serves those individuals and families who have the greatest need in our community. We provide assistance for those who wish to register for membership, programs or camps, but are not able to afford the full registration fee. YMCA donors and partners help make this assistance possible. 
 
If financial circumstances or a permanent disability are limiting your ability to participate, you may be eligible for Financial Assistance. 

How to apply:

Please complete the Application for Financial Assistance in full and bring it with you, along with the required supporting documentation (outlined below), to the branch you would like to join. No appointments are necessary. A YMCA Membership Services staff will review your application with you, ensuring that all information provided will be kept confidential.  
 
Applicants are assessed based solely on household income. 

Documentation needed: 

  • Completed Application for Financial Assistance
  • Previous year's Notice of Assessment for each adult member in your family, regardless of whether they are joining the Y (Line 150 is gross income)

If you are unable to provide a Notice of Assessment, please provide one of the following: 

  • 3 months of consecutive pay stubs 
  • 3 months of bank statements showing income* only (all other transactions may be blacked out and will not be considered)

*Examples of income include: payroll, income assistance (welfare, Employment Insurance, BC Housing Benefit, CPP, Old Age Security), alimony, child support, tips, cash jobs & GST cheques. 
 
Please have a credit card, void cheque or pre-authorized debit (PAD) agreement available at your appointment should your assistance application be approved and to schedule your pre-authorized monthly payments. 

Frequently Asked Questions
Who is eligible for YMCA Financial Assistance?

Any individual, family or child who is unable, not unwilling, to pay the full fee for a membership or program due to financial barriers. 

How much financial assistance will be provided?

The YMCA’s goal is that each individual or family will pay a portion of the membership or program fee. We assess every family or individual based on their total household income and household size. This amount is determined in the application process by using the Low Income Cut Off (LICO) Scale. The LICO scale uses gross household income (line 150 on a Notice of Assessment). 

Can my whole family apply for a YMCA membership?

Yes. Ask a Member Services Staff person about family membership requirements for financial assistance. The YMCA of Okanagan defines a family as: two adults and their dependent children 0 – 18 years living in the same household. 

If I receive support through the Y Financial Assistance program, what is expected of me?

Confidentiality: All information you provide will be kept confidential. We also ask that you keep the content of our interview confidential.

Commitment: A YMCA membership requires a commitment to making your payments on time, to use your membership regularly (recommended minimum use: twice per week) or to actively participate in the program for which assistance was provided. 

Communication: If your financial situation changes and/or you no longer require assistance, please speak to a YMCA Member Services staff. This enables the YMCA to help other individuals and families who are unable to pay the full fee.

How do I pay for my Membership or Programs?

You will pay when you join, followed by automatically withdrawn monthly payments by Visa, Mastercard, void cheque or a stamped Pre-Authorized Debit (PAD) withdrawal agreement from your bank. Memberships are approved for a 1-year term. 

Can the Y deny my application?

Your request could be denied if your financial information does not identify an inability to pay or if you have not met the minimum usage requirements. For those with a disability, applications supporting government or insurance documentation must clearly identify a permanent disability. The YMCA of Okanagan does not provide Financial Assistance to International Students, however, please inquire about our student membership option.  

How do I apply for an Ability Pass?

If a permanent disability is limiting your ability to participate, you may be eligible for an Ability Pass. We will require documentation that you receive a Permanent Disability pension, either from the Government or a Private Insurance Agency. 

Please note: The Ability pass does not cover a family pass. If your family would like to apply for YMCA membership and financial circumstances is limiting their ability to participate, they may be eligible for Financial Assistance.

Hollis' Y is Mental Health

Hollis was in debilitating pain from sciatica, fibromyalgia, and arthritis in her knees and lower back. Once she learned about the financial assistance program at the Y, she started to get her life back.