Comments: 114 • Responses: 39  • Date: 

jutah198364 karma

Is it fun to stay?

ILiveInAYM43 karma

I was expecting at least one reference to the song ;)

In all seriousness, it is, yeah. Don't know if to give too much information as you're only messing about with the song, but it's great here.

brainlessDeviant15 karma

I'm genuinely interested though. Can you get yourself clean? Can you have a good meal? Can you do whatever you feel?

ILiveInAYM10 karma

there are showers i guess. We cook our own meals but there's a breakfast included in the £13.71 rent. We can do whatever we feel.

Snowbank_Lake14 karma

So what's your story? How did you end up staying at the YMCA?

ILiveInAYM35 karma

I came from childrens homes (many) and I can't really go back to my mums (Would prefer not to go into that too in depth, but is there much point going back to mums, as i'm 18?) and I wanted to live in a certain town and move towards my independance. The YMCA helps with independance building through simple things such as managing money, keeping your flat tidy, health and relationships, so on.

heh_look_its_a_robot8 karma

As what do you work?

ILoveToiletpaper23 karma

Probably a cowboy, police officer, native American or engineer.

ILiveInAYM5 karma


ILiveInAYM10 karma

I'm a student at the moment so I don't work.

heh_look_its_a_robot8 karma

Im student too and i have am apprenticeship as a metal engineer for next august. Sry for my bad English, im swiss.

ILiveInAYM3 karma

Your English is better than half the people in my own country. Don't sweat.

agnosvenne2 karma

Wishing you the best of luck! I can tell you're an intelligent, ambitious person. You're going to make it. I know it. :-)

ILiveInAYM3 karma

Thanks /u/agnosvenne, have a great day <3

agnosvenne1 karma

I do believe you've faced more hardship, but we come from similar backgrounds. I was homeless, in group homes, in foster homes, etc. when growing up. I like to think that this upbringing makes us some of the most resilient and tough people out there. We're also sensitive and have so much love to give. Sometimes we push people away because we're afraid of someone letting us down again (that's something I had to deal with anyway). But in the end we shouldn't wish for it any other way because it's what makes us into the amazing people we become!

ILiveInAYM2 karma

Sometimes we push people away because we're afraid of someone letting us down again

this so much.

allwordsaremadeup12 karma

What would be a cheap way to improve the facilities you're at? Like.. job interview suits you can borrow... A lockable postal box. Possity to make it your official address.. Don't know to what extent these are already in place but I'm wondering about insider's views on How to improve homeless shelters in simple but meaningful ways..

ILiveInAYM12 karma

I think we have a different idea of a homeless shelter, which I can see where you're coming from.

We're not all too bad off, homeless is a generic term. It's more for people who can't afford to live with their parents or can't live due to social reasons (me). It's a block of 12 flats with a building attached for communal meetings with a tv and a computer. There's not really much room for improvement at the moment (bar the computers) but the goal of the YM is to help you in independance to getting your own apartment through private landlords or council housing. I don't know if this answers your question but what I'm trying to say is we pretty much have all those you asked, but my suggestion on how to improve this certain 'homeless' shelter is to add a damn phone line to the flats! it's the only thing they don't have!

ILiveInAYM11 karma


Here you go guys, you can see my flat now.

It may not be the homeless shelter your thinking of. I have been told this is the best YMCA. I have a studio flat and its amazing and it's home to me.

PoppaOwl6 karma

It looks like a college dorm. How long can you live there?

ILiveInAYM2 karma

Max 2 years.

claire_resurgent10 karma

I know that it's traditionally the Young Men's Christian Association - how are attitudes towards gender and sexuality minorities?

ILiveInAYM20 karma

Anyone, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, race, religion - Is welcome here. This is a place for helping you get on your feet, and there are no boundaries to you are as long as:

You do not do / deal drugs in the flats (If you have a drug problem, the YM will help you overcome it)

No offensive weapons on site.

No aggressive, disruptive behaviour, etc.

aslak1231 karma

So i can bring my shield and buckler?

ILiveInAYM3 karma

Best ask the YM staff ;)

heh_look_its_a_robot6 karma

Is the YMCA clean? Good Hygiene? Are there any swimingpools? How do you feel about living there?

ILiveInAYM13 karma

Absolutely 100 percent clean. It's not like, a hundered beds in a warehouse like room. It's like an old mill which has apartments to one side, the old mill part has a young peoples drop in centre downstairs and the apartments are as clean as each resident makes them. (there are 12 flats) there is a 'back room' where young people have access to computers and TV etc communally. This is cleaned every few days by cleaners. Hygiene here is no different than anyones home, if not better :)

Merwoman10 karma

I work for an HVAC service company in the states and one of our accounts is a YMCA residences... None of our techs want to go there because of the amount of cockroaches and apparently visible bed bugs and nasty shit. Shame for the people there, glad it's not across the board!

ILiveInAYM10 karma

It's more like a hotel than anything here. I might post a pic of my flat if you guys want to see what it's like :)

ashu903 karma

Yes, please post pic(s).

ILiveInAYM2 karma


TraceMarie4 karma

You write that the YMCA is barely Christian. Can you elaborate on that?

ILiveInAYM10 karma

Anyone, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, race, religion - Is welcome here. This is a place for helping you get on your feet, and there are no boundaries to you are as long as:

You do not do / deal drugs in the flats (If you have a drug problem, the YM will help you overcome it)

No offensive weapons on site.

No aggressive, disruptive behaviour, etc.

there's no evidence or any praying or anything here unless you wish to do so. Nothing except a bible quote thingy on the wall in the back room which you can barely see. to me, its just a place for safety and wellbeing and helping you on your feet.

devilsfoodadvocate3 karma

...How is that not Christian? Not to be a pedant, but central tenets of Christianity are kindness and charity to others.

ILiveInAYM5 karma

I'm sorry if I offended you this wasn't my intent. I see what you mean. I meant like those people who use christianity to spite gays and stuff.(who arent really christian anyway) Sorry.

devilsfoodadvocate1 karma

No offense taken, just curious. I see a lot of people equating Christianity with gay-bashing, and that's so not what Jesus' central message was (Love one another!).

ILiveInAYM4 karma

Exactly. that's the YM's central message too. Help eachother out.

jonloovox-6 karma

You are wrong. Christianity has been historically anti gay, anti homeless, and racist. Jesus himself hated the gays which is why he turned all the cities water into period blood.

ILiveInAYM6 karma

Regardless of the religion, who cares. It's not about what happened a bajillion years ago, its about the current right now. Everyone should just get on.

ILiveInAYM6 karma

Regardless of the religion, who cares. It's not about what happened a bajillion years ago, its about the current right now. Everyone should just get on.

grapefruit954 karma

So you could say you're one of the Village People at the YMCA?

edit: caught by the grammar Nazi

ILiveInAYM5 karma

if you like

Deverini2 karma

I have worked at the YMCA in my city for over 3 years, I have a few questions!

mine was in Canada, and placement was based off of Social Services - i.e Social Services had to refer you for placement, is that the same?

We didn't allow anyone EXCEPT men, there were no women, and one transgender person while I worked there, is this the case in UK as well? Also, we didn't allow children, but we did have 14-16 years old living there.

Does your YMCA have a social worker? We only had a "Director of Homelessness" which did nothing lol.

Is the rent paid through the government? (this is again, a case in Canada, only a specific amount was given and it was sent straight to us)

Do you have your own bathrooms? (Mine had one communal bathroom/shower for 8 guys...not pretty)

Are people allowed in the apartments? like family/friends? We did not allow this, at all.

How are the other tenants? I had a mixture of 1. VERY long term, mental health problems - 2 guys in their 60's that couldn't function on their own and their families had abandoned them. 2. Social Services had two rooms that were only open for detox programs, meaning, after rehab, they were sent here to get back on their feet, I've met both good and bad guys in this part. 3. Young guys just getting out of prison, We also had 2 rooms that were only for men getting out of prison and have no place to go.

Other than this, they had complete free reign over the YMCA, free membership, free access to pools, free laundry, free coffee, the YMCA offered odd jobs (like shoveling snow) which paid cash, or you could volunteer for free lunch/supper.

only real problems I've had with them, is I've caught a few guys trying to have "relations" in the pool/hot tub area, not a big deal. I've also cleaned up a ton of drug paraphernalia, which makes sense, until we eventually put a drug bin in the bathroom in the lobby, so people could dispose properly :)

I'm sorry this is so many questions!!!

ILiveInAYM2 karma

We allow men and woman, the minimum age to be ON SITE AND live here is 16. Social have to refer you. Idk if the ym has a social worker. We pay our rent through benefits such as UC and ESA so on. we have our own bathrooms.

People are, we're allowed them overnight 3 nights a week max. I only ever have my girlfriend over, its like her flat too.

The other tenants - Some socialize, some don't. I do. There's half of us who meet up for tv or cards or xbox or something but then the rest keep to themselves.

I wish we had a pool here! :D

Thanks for your questions!

__audjobb__2 karma

What was the process like to get in? Considering there are so few beds, I assume it must be tough?

ILiveInAYM2 karma

my social worker did the referral, so not too hard, but i did have to wait for someone else to transition out to another flat.

heh_look_its_a_robot2 karma

But why do you live there? If i may ask.

ILiveInAYM8 karma

I can't go to my Mum's because I had a lot of issues as a kid, I still have a lot of mental problems, so I got put in childrens homes since i was like, fourteen. I turned 18 and left care and then my social worker put me here. It's also in my favourite town in the world, and I'm one of those people which matters so much which town i live in or it kinda..affects me negatively (theres a lot of nasty towns nearby) so I'm working towards getting my own flat. it's a hard question to answer i apologize.

heh_look_its_a_robot2 karma

Thats interesting and i really hope you get your own big apartment and get well mentally!

ILiveInAYM3 karma

Thanks so much man, have a great day :D

heh_look_its_a_robot2 karma

Same to you. Oh wait i have 18:50 pm.

ILiveInAYM3 karma

haha :)

racamonkey2 karma

Can you have a good meal, can you do anything you feel?

ILiveInAYM5 karma

Man I am absolutely loving these hahaha. I didn't even recognize this one straight away :D

dreamingdemonlasher2 karma

Hi - I am wondering if you always feel safe at the YMCA?

I work in a substance misuse service and many of my clients live in high support services, including our local YMCA (I am in the UK - not sure about you?).

Lots of my clients get kicked out for doing drugs, and equally many clients find it dificult to stay clean whilst living there.

Another Q - do you feel supported enough? I assume you have a support worker, so do you feel like you get the right amount of help or is something lacking? Do things need to change?

Thanks for sharing your answers :)

ILiveInAYM3 karma

Always. If there is any drug or drug dealing it's picked up on very quickly. If you deal drugs, you're pretty much out almost instantly. it works on a three strike system. I live next door to two stoners, one of which which has now stopped and the other one has only just moved in and hasn't started a drug program yet. I personally have no desire to smoke weed, but I know others can be easily influenced. for me, its just not worth getting kicked out over a fucking joint. I feel safe here, very. bullying is not tolerated and neither is harrassment etc.

I feel supported enough through a blend of my YM support worker, college help, mental health teams and social worker.

cheers for your question!

dreamingdemonlasher1 karma

That's really good to hear. I'm glad you have such a positive experience and are being well supported :)

ILiveInAYM2 karma

Thanks :)

OnymousCoward2 karma

Just how sick of that song are you by this point?

ILiveInAYM5 karma

I never liked it in the first place.

networkhappi1 karma

What kind of mattresses do you get provided with? Tempur-Pedic? I heard Tempur-Pedic donates their mattresses to organizations like the YMCA.

ILiveInAYM2 karma

I have no idea to be honest. I bought my own bed. I have no idea about mattresses, I'll ask one of the other residents. I only have my own bed because I already had it when I moved in haha.

CrazyJelloman1 karma

What is one of the best experiences you have had at a YMCA?

ILiveInAYM6 karma

I think meeting a lot of the other YM kids is a great experience. Overall just living here has been the highlight of my life so far. I go to a college, I have a girlfriend stay at my flat 3 days a week, and I just love the town im in. It's just good here overall.

BestThingOnEarth1 karma

You mentioned that you were a student. What are you studying?

ILiveInAYM3 karma

C+G IT Level 2.

Thatyahoo1 karma

Is there an age limit for staying there? If so, what happens when you pass it?

ILiveInAYM3 karma

16 minimum, 25 maximum. If you reach 25, you go into council or social housing, or another independant flat owned by the YM.

BruteOfTroy1 karma

I know that you, personally, may not have the answer to this. But these are much nicer accommodations than I've always assumed the YMCA had. Perhaps it's nicer in the UK than in the US?

ILiveInAYM2 karma

I've been told the YMCA i live in is one of the best in the country.

elboogie71 karma

looks cozy. can you bring guests up?

ILiveInAYM2 karma

all day 8am-11pm. overnight 3 days a week.

regoapps1 karma


ILiveInAYM2 karma

£13.71 a week. Plus council tax. (I'm a student so I pay 88p council tax a year, fuk yeah) Housing benefit covers the rest.

elboogie71 karma

are you female?

ILiveInAYM2 karma

Nah, I'm a male