Assistance for Immigrants: YMCA Program

Figure 1.--Here is a group of European immigrant children arriving at Ellis Island in the 1920s. The lady is the YMCA agent. We are not surevjust what she is doing, but these may be unaccompanied minors that their parents had arraged to join them in America. Notice the tags.

Immigrants arriving in the 19th century almost no institutional support. The U.S. Government offered no assistace and was primarily concerned with excluding those immigrahts that might requirecassistance. One of the many organizations that responded to the needs of immigrants was the Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA). Growing awarness of the problems ebcountered by immigrant families led the YMCA to address that need. The YMCA set up a comprehensive immigration program (1907). The YMCA addressed immigrant needs at embarkation and debarkation ports, in transit, and after arrival. The YMCA service program included bureaus of information, employment, legal aid, medical aid, banking advice, courses in English, citizenship, naturalization procedures, and other mtters. The YMCA appointed an agent at Ellis Island. The YMCA program relied heavily on distributiing published materials.


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Created: 5:53 AM 10/4/2006
Last updated: 5:53 AM 10/4/2006