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Statesman Journal: YWCA Of Salem Makes Cuts Amid Major Losses

YWCA of Salem has lost an average of $50,000 per month for the last year, prompting layoffs and a hold on serving new families at its shelter, according to Interim Executive Director Ron Hays.

The $600,000 hit represents about 40 percent of the nonprofit’s annual operating budget.

The agency laid off two employees Friday in its effort to bring the nonprofit back into the black. It also suspended the waiting list and stopped accepting new families at Salem’s Outreach Shelter.

“The YWCA has been losing a significant amount of money, and we’re taking action to try and cut the losses,” Hays said.

Board members discussed the shelter’s future and ways to cut costs and boost revenue in a closed meeting Tuesday.

“Our main concern is serving the community and meeting the needs of the community,” said Shaney Starr, board president.

“We need to protect the assets we have to continue to do the great work that our organization has done for years and years.”

Hays declined to say whether there would be additional layoffs, but he did say the organization will continue to run the shelter. He plans to share more details later this week.

Empowerment Services Director Rhiannon Henry was one of the two employees who were let go Friday. Hays confirmed the elimination of Henry’s position but declined to identify the second employee.

“There were no performance issues,” he said. “It’s all cost containment.”

The YWCA is not unusual in its struggle for funding in the current economic climate, Hays said. He took the post as interim executive director in September to help rebuild the organization.

sknowlto@Statesman, (503) 399-6735 or follow @Stef_Knowlton

Salem YWCA

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