Falls YMCA faces grim future - The Buffalo News

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Falls YMCA faces grim future

NIAGARA FALLS – The YMCA’s Main Street branch will likely close in the coming years because of what the agency describes as unsustainable financial losses.

YMCA Buffalo Niagara recently announced a task force will study “the long-term repositioning” of the Falls branch, which it says operates at an annual deficit of about $450,000.

While no definitive plans have been made, the agency is looking at replacing the building with a series of locations and program sites. A similar model is in place in Lancaster, the agency said.

“The Y has every intention of building on its long and proud history in Niagara Falls and will continue to serve the community well into the future,” the agency said in a written statement.

The 39 residents of the Main Street branch will be allowed to stay for the next 16 months, after which they are expected to transition to assistance from other community agencies. The branch stopped accepting new occupants in February.

The agency tentatively plans to have a new model in place by the start of 2016.

There have been “informal discussions” with developers and a nonprofit organization about possibly turning the YMCA building into senior housing. The agency said no offers have been made yet.

The Falls branch serves about 1,250 people and awarded nearly $160,000 to individuals and families last year.

Since YMCA Buffalo Niagara merged with Niagara Falls Family YMCA in 2005, the agency has invested more than $3 million into the facility and its programs, it said.

email: niagaranews@buffnews.com

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