Salvation Army to close Boys and Girls Clubs

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – The Salvation Army will close four Boys & Girls Club locations throughout the Louisville metro in an effort to transition management to a local chapter with the non-profit's national affiliation.

"Costs have increased. Income has decreased," Major Michael Hawley said.  Hawley is the Louisville Area Commander of the Salvation Army.  "We're transferring the charter to the national organization to streamline our own operation," he said.

It costs an estimated $1-million a year to operate the four clubs, according to Hawley.

In a post he assumed in Mid-September, Hawley announced by October 21 all of the Boys and Girls Clubs will close managed by the Salvation Army.  However, the Boys and Girls Clubs of Kentuckiana, a separate organization, plans to re-open the three of the centers.

"We are asking that the community support The Boys & Girls Clubs of Kentuckiana's successful acquisition of these Clubs and commit to partnering with us to provide these children with like services under an organization that is financially sound and growing," Jennifer Helgeson said in a statement.

The four locations, the Newburg Boys and Girls Club at 5020 East Indian Trail, the Parkland Boys and Girls Club at 3200 Greenwood Avenue, the Portland Boys and Girls Club at 2509 Portland Avenue and the South Louisville Boys and Girls Club at 1010 Beecher Street, will close on October 21.

Hawley said employees were informed of the decision to close the clubs on Tuesday. Parents and members received the news in a letter that was sent home with club members.

The transition requires a temporary closure of all locations.  It's unclear how long that could take and when the centers will reopen.

"Our club has to close. There has to be a gap. Their club has to open in order for some of the funding and resources that are available to be available," Hawley said.

The press release states the decision was made by Salvation Army because its Boys and Girls Clubs have not been financially solvent for years and attempts to make them so have been unsuccessful.

The Salvation Army said they are in talks with Boys and Girls Clubs of Kentuckiana about reopening programs that will be lost by the closure of the four clubs.

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