The Board of Directors of Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Oregon announced Wednesday to the parents of Ariel Glen Apartments in southeast Bend its decision to discontinue youth development services at the Ariel Unit at 1707 SE Tempest Drive "until committed resources are available for the sustainable future."
Due to reduced revenue from federal, county and city funding along with diminishing levels of corporate, individual and funding from special events, "the Board of Directors finds its self in the terrible situation of having to eliminate services at a time when the number of youth who need affordable care is rising," the organization said in a news release Thursday.
“Closing a location and having to look these children in the eyes and tell them they will have to find alternative care is heartbreaking. We have been through this extremely difficult situation before, so to have to be in this position again is painful,” stated Kate Bailey, board president.
Youth members attending the Ariel Unit will be encouraged to attend the downtown location at 500 NW Wall Street, beginning November 1. However, transportation will remain a barrier for Ariel youth, the clubs said.
"The board anticipates that parents will not be able to pay for transportation, nor will they be able to help their child(ren) access the downtown Club," the announcement said. "Other after-school providers are being encouraged to fill the gaps."
Annual operating expenses for the Ariel Unit total $105,000 and expenses have been offset by funding sources such as OJP federal funding, county funds, Emergency Food and Shelter grants, United Way, grant writing and private fundraising efforts.
However, each funding source has diminished and is projected to remain at reduced levels through 2013.
Therefore, the branch is anticipating a $75,000 operating shortfall.
Housing Works, a longtime partner and owner of the Ariel Glen and Ariel South apartments has offered assistance, but it is only one-quarter of the funding required, the clubs said.