Community rallies to reopen YWCA

March 5, 2012 7:36:04 PM PST
Families and employees who depended on Raleigh's only YWCA are angry, frustrated and demanding answers.

They are upset after the YWCA shut its doors last week. Now, many of those same people are upset again after being shut out of a meeting Monday evening.

About 30 minutes before the meeting, police officers told people gathered at the YWCA to leave but many mobilized and gathered elsewhere to voice their opposition.

The meeting moved to Martin Street Baptist Church where many spoke out and leaned on one another for support to try to figure out what the next steps will be to try to save the YWCA and its programs for the children and the elderly.

"We will band together as a community and do whatever it takes to keep this facility open," said one speaker.

In a statement, the YWCA board said, "The board does not believe that its attendance at the meeting tonight would advance these efforts. Please know that our hearts are heavy and we are with those that have worked for and received services from this great institution over the many decades."

The facility on Hargett Street shut down unexpectedly Wednesday after more than 100 years in service.

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

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

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