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About the Duneland Family YMCA

The Duneland YMCA was established in February 1966 as the "Westchester Branch" of the Porter County YMCA. The project was initiated by the Chesterton Junior Women's Club to provide "year-round recreation for all ages, a lasting project that can be expanded through professional guidance." With its headquarters in the Thomas School, the YMCA hosted programs such as "Muscleman's Club," Air Rifle Club, Guitar Club, and gymnastics. Even then, the Y's focus was on the family programs for all ages, ranging from preschool to seniors.

The Westchester Branch moved to its current location at 215 Roosevelt Street in 1972 and incorporated as the Duneland Family YMCA in 1977. In 1981, a building addition shaped the YMCA's current form for the gym areas, earning honors as one of the top five athlectic building built in the United States that year. 

Although we are considered an independent YMCA, we have a strong connection with other local YMCA's in Northwest Indiana which has come to be known as the "Toll Road Ten." The "Toll Road Ten" consists of: YMCA of Portage Township, YMCA of the Hammond Area, Niles-Buchanan YMCA and YMCA of Michiana. 

The goals of the Duneland Family YMCA are to provide activities for the youth in our area that shape values and encourage life-long community service. We strive to support and strengthen all Duneland area families and encourage and support them in the development of healthy lifestyles. We provide older adults with opportunities to create healthy and productive lives for themselves and the community; and we are continually at work trying to create an environment that will attract a diverse group of people who will work together to create a community where all participate. 

"The Duneland YMCA Way" describes the commitments of staff at the YMCA. We are constantly striving to provide all participants with the highest quality programs and service so that every person will feel as though they were treated with courtesy.


Facts & Figures

  • The Y is a leading nonprofit organization for youth development, healthy living and social responsibility.
  • The Y is a powerful association of men, women, and children committed to bringing about lasting personal and social change. With a focus on nurturing the potential of every child and teen, improving the nation’s health and well-being and providing opportunities to give back and support neighbors, the Y enables youth, adults, families and communities to be healthy, confident, connected and secure.
  • Members, staff and volunteers of the Y include men, women and children of all ages and from all walks of life.
  • The Y offers programs, services and initiatives focused on youth development, healthy living and social responsibility, according to the unique needs of the communities it engages.
  • The Y is accessible to all people. Financial assistance is offered to individuals and families who cannot afford membership.
  • The Y is guided by four core values: caring, honesty, respect, responsibility.


  • The Duneland Family YMCA provides programs and services for the residents of all five of the Duneland Communities (Chesterton, Porter, Burns Harbor, Dune Acres and Beverly Shores).
  • To meet the needs of these growing communities, the Duneland YMCA currently uses 10 program sites to serve the mission of our organization.
  • Together with our volunteers, members and staff, the Duneland YMCA impacts the lives on nearly 10,000 people a year.
  • 138 volunteers, without whom little of what the Y does is possible, donated thousands of hours of their time to help the Duneland Communities be more healthy and connected.
  • Annually, the Duneland Family YMCA provides in excess of $100,000 in financial assistance for their neighbors who are in need of subsidy