YWCA Peoria prepares to close its doors

By Joe Bennett

October 3, 2012 Updated Oct 4, 2012 at 9:46 AM CDT

PEORIA, Ill -- After more than 130 years of services, YWCA Peoria is ending its operations.

Board Director Joy Duling says the conditions leading to the YWCA closure have been referred to as a perfect storm.

"Individual donors are starting to pull back because of their personal financial situation and corporate sponsors are starting to pull back because of the corporate financial situation," Duling says.

For years the non-profit organization has struggled with decreasing grants and late payments from the state.

Duling says the YWCA's 22 employees have helped an average of 200 area homeless each day.

"We have of course our emergency shelter, our cot program, we have transitional housing programs where we start easing people in with case management," according to Duling.

Seventy-two women and children currently reside in the Y-Village Transitional Housing units.

The good news for them is the YWCA is working tirelessly to find another social service to pick up this program.

The transitional housing has seen an increase in the number of homeless seeking help from the agency, which has recently been helping people from all walks of life.

"With this recession, every body's one paycheck away from being homeless, whether they realize it or not." says Case Management Supervisor Shirley Carrol. "I've had IRS come in, I've had Caterpillar come in, we've had people that worked at other agencies that do what I do all live here."

Duling says it will take a transitional period to permanently close these facilities.

The programs and services, she says, will carry over to another agency.

Duling says, "We're hoping we can count on the Peoria community to step up and help those agencies that might take over these programs and for these clients not to go unserved."

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