Leaders meet to decide YWCA's fate


The meeting was held at the Hospice of Wake County and former staff members were not allowed inside. Instead, they waited across the street, off private property, hoping to find out if there is enough financial support to re-open the institution.

The center closed two weeks ago, and staff members have been in the dark ever since. They were given less than 24 hours notice and still have not received their final paychecks.

"I, myself, had 97.5 vacation hours that I'm told I will not be getting paid for and plus unpaid wages that we physically worked and are not getting paid for," former employee Corinne Hall said.

Former employees told ABC11 that despite repeated requests, they have not been told when they'll receive their paychecks or what is happening with the YWCA. Those employees said the closing has left the staff with dwindling resources and a community in limbo.

"People are facing eviction, people can't pay their light bill. I loaned some money to someone yesterday to keep their water on," former employee Bridgette Burge said.

Once the meeting was over, former board president and current member Maria Spaulding said she was enthused about the YWCA's chances for survival.

"Our indebtedness is a priority period. We have indebtedness to employees but also to suppliers, to vendors to our service providers," Spaulding said.

When asked who gets paid first, Spaulding said, "We're going let the lawyers determine that."

The board member also said employees should not have been surprised when the YWCA closed its doors in February. She said there were cuts in October, as well as furloughs in November and December.

"It was very obvious that we were in a declined mode beyond what we've ever been in the history of the Y," Spaulding said.

Documents reveal that while signs may have shown the organization was in trouble financially, the YWCA's CEO, Folami Bendali, was receiving raises. Financial statements show Bendali made $74,000 in 2007, $86,000 in 2008, and $90,000 in 2009.

Spaulding told ABC11 that Bendali had not gotten a raise in the last two years, but the YWCA's financials for 2010 have not been released.

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