An area community center is getting ready to celebrate 100 years of service, but could it be it's last? Dozens of residents stood outside the doors of the Cheryl Allen Southside Community Center waiting to get their weekly supply of commodities, just as they do most Tuesdays. However this time, news had spread that the center could have to close it's doors by month's end.
Executive Director Floyd Upshaw Jr. says that finances have become very limited. The operating budget is basically funded by dollars from the United Way and a contract through Job and Family Services. Upshaw says that the money received from the United Way has been cut. They had been getting about $2200 a month from the agency, but now are receiving just over 600 dollars. A cut that could cost community members much needed services.
The United Way of Greater Lima did confirm that the center is getting designated funds that are coming through their agency which would be around the 600 dollar figure. They also confirmed that Cheryl Allen was no longer receiving un designated funding and that we would need to speak with the president of the United Way, Phil Hayne, when he returns to the office on Wednesday for why funding has been cut.
In response to the financial situation of the center, a community meeting has been called at the center. Cheryl Allen Center Board Member and Lima City Councilman Derry Glenn is asking for the community's help in saving this facility. That meeting is scheduled for Wednesday at 5:30 at Cheryl Allen Center on Central and Ninth Streets.
Both Glenn and Upshaw say it will all be put out on the table. The full financial situation and what the center can and can not afford to do, if funding is not found.