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After sustaining significant damage to several facilities from the impact of Hurricane Harvey in 2017, the YMCA of Greater Houston faced a challenge: How would they be able to serve their community without a physical building for members to come to?

A partner YMCA in San Diego suggested the perfect solution: Aire Fitness pods —partially-indoor, partially-outdoor fitness studios. The pods are customizable to fit your fitness audience, and are portable and sustainable.

According to Omoiye Kinney, the vice president of marketing and communications for the YMCA of Greater Houston, the pods were exactly what they needed to meet the needs of their community.

“Because we didn’t have access to our physical buildings due to the hurricane, we were actively searching for a way to provide some sort of healthy living programming for our members,” said Kinney. “We really wanted to help the community we serve get back to some sort of normalcy, and that is still currently happening because of the pods.”

In fact, Kinney explained the pods have received nothing but positive feedback. Due to the success, they have started to consider incorporating Aire Fitness pods once they reopen certain locations and also adding them to others.

“Our members can’t get enough of these pods,” said Kinney. “Even though two of our facilities are still partially opened, when they fully reopen we are going to look at other areas we can utilize the Aire Fitness pods and find more ways to add them to the community.”

While the tragedy of Hurricane Harvey devastated the physical structures belonging to the YMCA of Greater Houston, through the process they were introduced to a concept they intend to pursue moving forward. Kinney recommended community recreation centers keep it in mind when meeting on upcoming programming planning.

“We can’t recommend Aire Fitness pods enough,” said Kinney. “When you think about serving the community outside your walls, this is such a great and innovative way to do that. YMCAs across the country should keep these in mind.”

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