Salvation Army not alone: other organizations struggling, too - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Salvation Army not alone: other organizations struggling, too

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LOUISVILLE, KY. (WDRB) -- Children who rely on the Salvation Army to provide a safe place to stay after school will soon have nowhere to go because several local Boys and Girls Clubs are closing. But those are not the only organizations in danger.

The Boys and Girls Club in Portland has been here since the 1940s. Before the end of October, it and three others will be closed.

In neighborhoods that are not always the safest, the Salvation Army Boys and Girls Clubs have been a safe haven for more than 2500 kids each year. It is a place where they can play, be mentored, and get help with homework after school and during summer. But all four clubs are closing.  They cost about a million dollars a year to run and there is just not enough money left.

The Salvation Army is working with the Boys and Girls Clubs of Kentuckiana, a financially sound organization. It is expected to take over and eventually reopen three of the clubs -- Newburg, Parkland, and Portland.

"Our hope is that the gap between us ending services and Kentuckiana Girls and Boys Club resuming services might be real short and real small," said Major Michael Hawley, Louisville Area Salvation Army Commander.

The whole situation is a frightening reality to other after school organizations. "It scares me to death. The thing I think of more than anything is that there are going to be kids out there without services," said St. Anthony's Community Outreach director, Al Saunders.

He is scared, because just weeks ago, St. Anthony's thought it would have to close, too. The organization feeds kids after school three days a week and mentors them. "It got to the point to where we thought we may end up closing the doors," said Saunders.

Metro United Way says 90% of the organizations it supports have reported a 10% increase in need, and a 10% decrease in funds.

The Boys and Girls Clubs of Kentuckiana is working with Metro United Way to secure money to get those three clubs back open.

The Salvation Army hopes to see some of the clubs back open by the end of the year.

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