NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – The YMCA of Greater New York is down millions of dollars in lost revenue due to COVID-19 closures.
Now, the group says without more money, some of its community programs might be in jeopardy.
Before the coronavirus pandemic hit, Diana Gatschet and her family visited the Park Slope Armory YMCA a few times a week.
“When you have a snowy day, or a hot, hot day, we can come here. Our kids can run around the track,” she told CBS2’s Kiran Dhillon.
But she and thousands of others were forced to stop when the coronavirus shut the doors of YMCA of Greater New York locations citywide. The group quickly shifted its services online and continued to provide some services in person, like those for the homeless, where it could.
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“We will end the year at a significant loss, and we will have depleted our operating reserves,” said YMCA of Greater New York President and CEO Sharon Greenberger.
Greenberger says since closing in March, the group lost nearly $70 million in revenue and was forced to lay off and furlough thousands of its employees. The loss coming from lost membership fees, donations and grants, and now threatening a long list of community services.
“We have a lot teen programming that’s at risk. Some of our health programs are at risk. Some of our programs like assisting new Americans that come to New York City are at risk,” Greenberger said. “We’re in a moment of time where we need help, and that help requires financial support.”
That’s why the group kicked off a new fundraising campaign this week just as its branches start to reopen.
“We are like a center of the community. We are where people come to get help. We are where people come for resources. If we weren’t here, I’m not really sure, how limited the resources are in this community, where exactly people would go to find that in the nearby area,” said Jackie Bravo, associate executive director of the Park Slope Armory YMCA.
Gatschet agrees. She plans to renew her membership, and donate. She hopes others will too.
“The Y is here for everybody,” she said. “This is providing just as much of a human need as any in our community.”
The YMCA of Greater New York says the goal is to raise 5 million dollars by the end of the year— saying that amount will allow all New Yorkers to continue to access its free community services.
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