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Triangle YWCA closes after 110 years

Posted February 29, 2012

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— The YWCA of the Greater Triangle closed its downtown Raleigh location Wednesday after more than a century of service to women on the Triangle.

The YWCA is one of the nation's oldest and largest women's organizations and its Triangle chapter has been working to empower women and eliminate racism since 1901.

But, after 110 years, organization officials said financial challenges have forced it to close.

In a press release Wednesday, officials cited a "shrinking pool of available grants and a decrease in government and corporate funding forced us to downsize and eliminate programs that are no longer financially viable."

"We tried and tried everything we can think of and ultimately, we didn't see a light at the end of the tunnel," YWCA Board Vice President Debby Warren said. 

The YWCA had four core programs: education advocacy, study circles and youth development; economic empowerment and self-sufficiency; health care access and health education; and supportive services for seniors.

"I think it's bad that they're doing it to the children of this county. I think it's terrible," parent Lori Kleeberg said. 

Sadness follows Triangle YWCA closure Sadness follows Triangle YWCA closure

Elementary school student Carlayasia Weaver had been going to the YWCA for a year.

"I'm missing my friends. It's just good here," she said. 

Geraldine Lewis said she and other YWCA employees were given less than 24 hours notice of the closure. 

"I moved down from New Jersey to get a fresh start. This is not what I moved for. It didn't turn out to be good," Lewis said. 

The organization is looking for community partners to continue running some its current programs.

Neighbor Anita Keith said she was shocked at the closing. 

"There's so many memories of dances, meetings, weddings," she said. 


This story is closed for comments.

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  • They call me CATMAN Mar 6, 2012

    I have to ask where do you get off saying Jesus was a Liberal.Liberals always say that it is funny to me how you or anyone can put a label on Jesus. Last I checked Jesus did not run for office or come out and say in the bible that he was a liberal and if it does quote chapter and verse.

  • sunneyone2 Mar 1, 2012

    I think it's more that people presumed the two organizations shared a budget. The YMCA may be a non-profit, but they do bring in a lot of money.

    And I resent you all saying that liberals are not Christian. I work for a faith based non-profit and we have a lot of liberal minded people on staff and several of them are reverends. Jesus was a liberal!

  • bill0 Mar 1, 2012

    This is pretty simple. It isn't mismanagement or "liberalism" or anything similar. This is a non-profit serving a poor area of raleigh with very expensive services like childcare. Their budget is all donations and grants. One of the biggest grants ran out and they couldn't find enough private donors to keep them going. This isn't like a charity running a coat drive or something. Anything related to child care means big overhead and big fixed costs.

  • boneymaroney13 Mar 1, 2012

    "I think it's bad that they're doing it to the children of this county."
    Here we go again - For The Children. And, who is "they"? Political Correctness and the obama economics are closing the "Y".

  • ProudBlackSingleMother Mar 1, 2012

    If the YMCA wasn't forced to allow women in, the YWCA would have been saved. Just like Peace college, gender based discrimination is coming to an end.

  • CestLaVie Mar 1, 2012

    I used to work for the YWCA when the MAIN location was on W. Jones Street way back in the 60s, before they relocated to Oberlin Rd. This branch on Hargett St. was around then too. Yes, maybe Christian values were evident then, but I'm sure much has changed since then too.

    What most stuck in my craw were the large pay raises for the Director & her staff, while the office help got next to nothing. Since then, I've not donated one penny to the YWCA. Which reminds me that once I found out where the United Way's offices were located in Raleigh, I stopped contributing to them too.

    Maybe some of these "charitable" organizations don't do a very good job of handling their monies, is what I'm suggesting. Some even make the news with outlandish spending corruption at the top.

  • Boob Ethridge Mar 1, 2012

    More closings to come for the YWCA/YMCA, it's called a bad economy and liberal idea's NOT WORKING. This orginazation made it thru the Great Depression but with Conservative values, think about it...

  • goncampn2 Mar 1, 2012

    It is sad to see this happen.To my knowledge YWCA was organized parallel to the YMCA. If so it has totally removed itself from the Christian values it was created on. Before every one attacks me if you are a member of either organization next time you go to a "Y" facility take a look around at how the women and men are dressed and act towards one another. Both my sons work for the "Y" and I can not believe the stories they tell me of what takes place at their particular location. Basically the YMCA and YWCA has lost it's Christian focus and values due to Liberal pressure.

  • hatterasgirl Feb 29, 2012

    Thanks for clearing that up kpkelly83. As a YMCA employee you are correct!

  • hardycitrus Feb 29, 2012

    YWCAs are more oriented toward community service than sports. Typically they do adult literacy classes, ESL, and summer camps.