Activists Working To Save South Bend YMCA Location From Closure

Jun 1, 2020

YMCA South Bend-Mishawaka location
Credit Justin Hicks / WVPE Public Radio

A crowd rallied at the South Bend YMCA Monday hoping to stop the location from shutting down. Officials announced last month the branch would be closed permanently due to financial trouble caused by the pandemic. 

Tom Cooper is a longtime South Bend YMCA Board Member. He’s the face of the movement to save the South Bend YMCA.

“To all of a sudden have a facility that’s closed without any real consideration of its members, I, at the time thought it was very unfair.”

Cooper and several others have questions about the abrupt decision to close.

YMCA of Greater Michiana officials say the South Bend facility was old and the cost to keep it running became too great with the added financial stress of COVID-19.

But Cooper says he’s doubtful that’s the whole story and believes the finances are available to at the very least revitalize the old building.

In a letter to YMCA members Monday evening, CEO Mark Weber reaffirmed the financial struggles but said quote “Our work is not over in the South Bend and Mishawaka communities. ”