YMCA Summer 2021-2022 Healthy Living Magazine - Page 12

AUTHOR
Y STREETBALL Y Streetball is a program that runs every Tuesday and Sunday at North Melbourne Community Centre and supports adults experiencing homelessness or disadvantage in North Melbourne . YMCA Open Doors helps people experiencing disadvantage by subsiding access to YMCA Victoria ’ s programs and services . Find out more at www . victoria . ymca . org . au / support-the-y / ymca-open-doors

PRIDE AND COMMUNITY : EXPANDING Y STREETBALL ’ S IMPACT

At the Y , we believe everyone should have access to programs that enrich their lives and help them become healthier , happier and more connected . One way we do this is through YMCA Open Doors , an initiative that helps people experiencing disadvantage by subsiding access to our programs and services .
Over the past four years , Y Streetball has supported adults experiencing homelessness or disadvantage in North Melbourne . The program runs every Tuesday and Sunday at North Melbourne Community Centre and gives participants a place to blow off some steam playing basketball , have a shower and a filling meal , and time to socialise with friends . It ’ s a vibrant community program that welcomes all people , regardless of their age or socio-economic background . We are proud to support this program with YMCA Open Doors funding .
Earlier this year , Y Streetball gave participants t-shirts to wear when playing basketball . With help from YMCA Gear and YMCA Open Doors , the team created a t-shirt that featured the YMCA logo and a refreshed Y Streetball logo , designed by Centre Manager Chelsea Collins . The t-shirts are awarded to participants who have attended six or more sessions in a row . Only 60 t-shirts were made and Chelsea hopes this exclusivity encourages people to regularly attend the program , which in turn provides them with a strong community support network .
“ A lot of the people who come to Y Streetball are from lowsocioeconomic backgrounds and part of vulnerable communities . This often leads to them turning to unhealthy and illegal coping mechanisms . We hope that by having to attend multiple sessions to get a t-shirt , it encourages people to stay in the program for longer , which then gets them away from those habits and gives them a renewed hope , outlook and sense of community .” – Chelsea Collins , Centre Manager at North Melbourne Community Centre
Y Streetball ’ s longest attending participants were given the t-shirts first and the effect on the wider community has been overwhelming . Participants wear their t-shirts like a badge of honour and are proud to represent the program . This pride has influenced other members of the community to want one too , resulting in more participants attending Y Streetball .
12 YMCA HEALTHY LIVING MAGAZINE