Many left with nowhere to turn after YWCA closes

February 29, 2012 7:20:31 PM PST
The sudden closing of Raleigh's YWCA has sparked tears and anger.

The facility on Hargett Street shut down unexpectedly Wednesday after more than 100 years of serving parents, children, and a community that depended on its services.

Director Folami Bandele said the reason for the closure is the recession. She said they have no more money because state funding cuts, a shortage of corporate giving and a tight economy.

"It's very difficult to raise money in this climate," said Bandele.

"We are heartbroken that this has happen today and I want you to know that we are so sorry," said the YWCA's Director of Strategic Projects OmiSade Scott.

The announcement was made to staff members and the YWCA's seniors earlier in the day. They are now faced with the reality of having nowhere else to go.

"We are horrified by what has happened to you, to the babies who come here after school, to the parenting and teen mothers," said Scott.

Officials said the clues were there. Last October, they eliminated six positions. About two weeks ago, nine more. Wednesday, the remaining 23 staff members were let go.

With a $2 million budget last year, officials are now reviewing how much it would need to stay open.

The YWCA serves more than 12,000 in southeast Raleigh and Wake County.

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