Four Boys and Girls Clubs expected to close, one organization fighting to keep them open


by Claudia Coffey

Posted on October 7, 2011 at 11:57 PM

Updated Saturday, Oct 8 at 12:02 AM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) – In just a matter of weeks, four Salvation Army Boys and Girls Clubs are expected to close. One organization is racing against the clock in an effort to prevent that from happening. Parkland is one of four Boys and Girls Clubs on the chopping block and that fact has parents very concerned. They are hoping this creative new plan will work and keep the club open.

To many of the kids at the Parkland Boys and Girls Club off Greenwood Avenue, this is home.

When news spread earlier this week that budget cuts would force this club to close, volunteers like Carl Yelder were stunned.

"This would be bad for the community, bad for the city of Louisville. Cause there is nothing for these kids to do out here. There's nothing," says Carl Yelder.

The Salvation Army says that tough economic times are behind the decision to close Parkland, Newburg, Portland and South Louisville. But if Eddie Woods with the Life Hope Center says that the clubs will not be closing on his watch. 

"In my mind there has got to be some community folks that can step up and make something happen," says Woods.

Woods, who grew up going to the Boys and Girls Club himself is working with several local organizations to figure out a way to pool resources and funding to keep these clubs open. He calls the effort the Service Continuum Coalition.

"We are not talking about any one group going under when others can help you out with just sharing of the services and information," says Woods.

He knows the deadline is looming and they have no time to waste. Once this place closes, so many will worry about what these children will do.

"These kids gonna be shedding tears if they find out they can't come to Parkland Boys and Girls Club anymore," says volunteer Carl Yelder.