LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - The pending closing of the Salvation Army Boys and Girls Clubs is a very hot topic that affects thousands of children. The announcement, which came late Tuesday night, leaves hundreds of families concerned about what this will mean for kids in our area.
It costs an estimated $1 million to operate the four Boys and Girls Clubs. The Salvation Army said operating costs were behind the decision to close the doors of the Newburg, Parkland, Portland and South Louisville branches on October 21. But the impact that it will have on the boys and girls that attend the clubs and the families that benefit from their services cannot be estimated.
Thru its programs and its staff, the clubs reach out to all young people, especially those in disadvantaged circumstances, offering everything from tutoring services, career development, health and life skills, character development, sports, summer programs and a support program for the entire family.
"The crime rate is going to increase," said Margaret Reynolds, who wants to keep the clubs open. "We're going to see young people getting into gangs and stuff they're going to occupy themselves. An idle mind is the devil's workplace."
"If this closes, there will be no place for children to be but outside around the violence and the different traffic and everything like that to where they could get hurt," said Ricky Reynolds, one of the many kids who use the clubs.
The Boys and Girls Clubs have been open for several decades, so their closing is certainly a loss for the communities in which they are located.