In 2011, the Houston Texans YMCA opened its doors to the Third Ward community. Seated on nearly five acres of land, the Houston Texans YMCA boasted a brand-new a conference room, community room, gymnasium, group exercise rooms, cardiovascular fitness center, youth activity center, teen center, sports fields, playground, pool pavilion, outdoor pool and family spray park. The YMCA's welcome center was dedicated to the late Quentin R. Mease, founder of the South Central Family YMCA in 1948.
Plans for the new YMCA were first announced on March 25, 2008 with a groundbreaking ceremony held in December. Texans late founder, chairman and CEO Bob McNair (1937-2018) and his wife, Janice, helped cut the ribbon at the grand opening of the Houston Texans YMCA, the first YMCA in the country to be named after a professional sports team.
"I can't tell you how proud I am," McNair said at the 2011 opening. "Really, to have the Texans' name associated with the YMCA, an organization that I have such great respect for, I just think it's wonderful, and I know the great work they do in the community and that's what we're interested in doing. To be partners with them is very special."
Since it opened, the Houston Texans YMCA has grown to 4,500 members. More than 31 percent of members receive financial assistance for membership, in part supported by the Texans, while 87 percent of the youth served are on free or reduced lunch. This summer, thanks to support from gifts made in memory of McNair, all rising ninth graders will get free memberships to the Houston Texans YMCA and any Y in the city.
The Texans host an annual school supply drive at training camp each year for the YMCA and provide opportunities for youth from the YMCA to attend Texans games and training camp. Each year the Texans host an annual holiday party for youth served by the YMCA and a Christmas shopping spree with players. The Texans are strong supporters of the Houston Texans YMCA flag football program, volunteer monthly with kids in the child watch program and much more.
The Houston Texans YMCA has become an important part of the Greater Third Ward area, sitting along the MetroRail line and across from a new Houston Public Library location all of which provide important resources for the historic community.
The Houston Texans YMCA opened in 2011 in Houston's Greater Third Ward area and provides camps, youth sports, teen leadership programs, aquatics, child care, outreach programs, scholarships and more for kids in the community. Check out some of the best photos since the YMCA's creation.