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Phoenix YMCA (access required)

The YMCA was founded in Phoenix in 1892. Its mission was to provide a safe haven for the many young men drawn to the frontier. At the time Phoenix was wide open for gambling, drinking and other such pursuits. The Y was part of a growing evangelical Christian movement intended to save the souls of young men cut loose from home and family. It was different from other religious organizations in that it also provided body building and exercise programs and in later years housing for its patrons. Early Y meetings were held in a tent and probably resembled a prayer meeting as much as anything.

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