Presbyterian Community Center will close Friday - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Presbyterian Community Center will close Friday

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB)---As young children, parents, and community members pack the gymnasium at the Presbyterian Community Center, it's a bittersweet moment for so many of them.

"This place changed my life. It's where I got my very first job as a neighborhood youth leader. As a teenager, I was able to come to the Presbyterian Community Center to get Dare-To-Care with the Kids Café," says Lavel White.

Lavel White went on to make a documentary about the Sheppard Square housing development, which was shown at the Presbyterian Community Center Thursday night.

White says many children nearby, have turned to the center over the years.

It has provided recreation, education, and other services for people in the community and has had a lasting impact on many.

"I used to have an attitude all the time, but then they told me there's no use because you don't always get your way, so I had to change," says 15-year-old Najja Hughes.

When Sheppard Square was demolished last year, the center lost clients and funding.

Board members say they will have to close Friday afternoon unless they get financial help.

"If some miracle happens and we receive a ton of money, yes, we would keep it open," says David Johnson, a board member for the Presbyterian Community Center.

David Johnson says it takes $65,000 a month to keep it going.

He says they would need 3 months of operational costs to keep the center open, which is nearly $200,000.  

"When I found out, I was really upset. I come here so I can stay out of trouble and don't get in trouble," says 15-year-old Jacob Byrd.

Officials worry about where kids will now turn, especially when the housing nearby reopens.

"Now the kids in the neighborhood won't have anything to do or anywhere to go," says Najja Hughes.

Board members are now making a push to supporters to try to raise the money needed as quickly as possible.

"We need some miracles. We really need some miracles," says David Johnson.

Board members tell us the Presbyterian Child Development Center, located next to the community center, remains open for now. They do say it could eventually be in jeopardy of closing.

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