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Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania

(Partner: YMCA of the USA)

Community Mission

LiveWell Luzerne County

Coordinated by the Wilkes-Barre YMCA's Action Communities for Health, Innovation and Environmental Change Initiative (ACHIEVE) in collaboration with other community partners.

VISION: Wilkes-Barre; where the healthy choice is the easy choice where we live, learn, earn, play and pray.

MISSION: Working to create a healthy city where it is easy and safe to be physically active, where good nutrition is promoted, and where exposure to tobacco is eliminated in outdoor public places through broad community participation, partnerships, planning and policy change.

Community Information

Wilkes-Barre is located in Northeastern Pennsylvania, on the Susquehanna River between the Poconos and the Endless Mountain ranges. It is the county seat and largest urban center in Luzerne County. The city was established in 1769 as settlers moved into the fertile Wyoming Valley to farm and take advantage of the vast natural resources. The young town and surrounding area played an important role in the American Revolution and the development of the young nation.

There were 43,288 people, 17,961 households, and 9,878 families residing in the city according to the 2000 census. The racial makeup of the city was 92.30 percent White, 5.09 percent African American, 0.11 percent Native American, 0.79 percent Asian, 0.03 percent Pacific Islander, 0.53 percent from other races, and 1.15 percent from two or more races. Individuals reporting as Hispanic or Latino ethnicity within any race were 1.58 percent of the population, however according to the November 2007 Census estimate, Luzerne County has the fourth fastest growing Latino population in the nation amongst counties with populations of 100,000 or more. Twenty percent of the population is under age 18, while 20.6 percent are elderly. The city's per capita income is $15,050 and median household income is $26,711. The county's unemployment rate is 10 percent, the highest in the region. 17.8 percent live below poverty.

Community Contacts

Name E-mail Phone
Carol Hussa carol.hussa@wbymca.org (254) 771-6741
James John Thomas jim.thomas@wbymca.org (512) 248-7630


Physical Activity:  Increase daily physical activity by building safe environments that encourage and support active living.   

NACCHO National Association of Chronic Disease Directors National Recreation and Park Association SOPHE YMCA - Activate America