36 Western New Yorkers are going to lose their jobs, and numerous programs will cease as the YWCA of Genesee County prepares to close.
YWCA Executive Director Millie Tomidy-Pepper and members of the board made the surprise decision Monday, citing considerable longstanding debt, no money on reserve and a maxed out line of credit and credit card.
“The cash position is such that we can’t continue to operate,” Tomidy-Pepper said in a statement. “When I was interviewed I was told that there was a first quarter cash flow problem. Ever since I began here I have uncovered that it was much more than that.”
According to Tomidy-Pepper, who has only been executive director for less than two months, she was not briefed on the YWCA's dire financial situation during her interview process. She further claims that the agency’s financial records are in such disarray that an audit cannot be properly conducted.
Tomidy-Pepper says the lack of funding means that the following programs have ended effective immediately:
- Domestic violence outreach
- Before and after school child care
- Courthouse daycare
- Food reimbursement for home daycare providers
- Crisis helpline services
According to the YWCA, the agency has been the sole provider of domestic violence services in Genesee County, serving about 650 new victims each year. It also says it has provided before and after school child care for hundreds of families and answered the call for thousands of people in crisis.
The nonprofit's closure also means 36 staff members are losing their jobs, and possibly their ability to get unemployment insurance.
“The history of the organization using an unemployment services trust, and the fact that it was not kept up-to-date by being paid, it’s questionable whether employees will be able to get unemployment insurance,” Tomidy-Pepper said.
The board is now working to keep the doors open, and is planning a “Save the YWCA” campaign, but said in a statement that it has to close for now.
Despite the closure, 301 North Street, the building that houses the YWCA, will remain open to accommodate current tenants.