Cash crunch leads to major changes at the Kamloops Y

Changes designed to save $450,000 annually will include a revamping of the John Tod Y in North Kamloops, reduced hours at both Y locations, a reduction of staff at the Y Women’s Emergency Shelter and fewer staff and services for children in the organization’s PEACE program, which exists for kids who have witnessed abuse

Financial challenges have led the Kamloops YMCA-YWCA to make some significant changes to its operation as of September.

A statement issued on Thursday night by CEO Colin Reid notes the organization will be making changes designed to save $450,000 annually — decisions that will include a revamping of the John Tod Y in North Kamloops, reduced hours at both the North Kamloops and downtown Y locations, a reduction of staff at the Y Women’s Emergency Shelter and fewer staff and services for children in the organization’s PEACE program, which exists for kids who have witnessed abuse

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In the statement, Reid said the 2018-2019 fiscal year (running from September 2018 through August 2019) will the second consecutive year in which expenditures exceed revenues.

“These pressures have been created by a combination of factors, including increased operating costs across the association, a reduction or flattening of revenue streams, reduced positive cash flow, changes in government policy, increased complexity of new technology and complex compliance and risk requirements,” Reid said.

“Our association has decided to act on this matter now in order to prevent the situation from worsening and to reduce the risk and vulnerability to the organization. Our goal is to correct this matter, to be stable and healthy and serving the greater Kamloops community for years to come.”

The Y will be pursuing a 10 per cent net cost on total operating budget, planning for activities to increase revenue and reorganizing operations.

Reid said major changes will be coming to the John Tod Y, where it will change to a community centre model, focused on programs that serve people in group programs. Hours at John Tod will be reduced initially to Mondays to Fridays from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Hours will be expanded as new services and demand increases.

The North Shore facility has been operating between 6 a.m. and 9 p.m. on weekdays.

The Childcare Resource and Referral Centre and the Kamloops Early Years Centre will remain at the John Tod Y, but all equipment will be relocated to the downtown Y on Battle Street and individual conditioning spaces will be repurposed into group program spaces. Functional group fitness equipment will remain at John Tod, while most evening programming from John Tod will relocate to Battle Street.

The downtown Y will be closing one hour earlier each day from Monday to Fridays (opening daily at 5:30 a.m. and closing at 9 p.m., rather than the current 10 p.m.) and weekend hours will be from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. The Y will be closed on all statutory holidays.

As such, there will be a reduction in staffing at the downtown Y.

With respect to the Y’s anti-violence programming, the PEACE program (formerly known as Children Who Witness Abuse program) will experience a reduction in staff and services to children and will move to the Y Women’s Emergency Shelter by the end of the year.

The women’s shelter, meanwhile, will see reduced staffing due to financial constraints.

Reid said most child and youth programming will now be offered as part of the Y’s membership bundle, though some exceptions will apply He said child-care programs will be expanded, with those programs being moved to another downtown location from the Battle Street site next to the Y.

One in four members at the downtown Y, and one in three members at the John Tod Y have their memberships subsidized by the organization, a helping and Reid said the Y is committed to continuing.

“We plan to continue this for decades to come, “ Reid said. “These changes are designed to retain as many services as possible, to provide alternative locations for programs that many citizens enjoy and rely on, to minimize the impact on members, program participants, staff and volunteers and to keep the Y vibrant in our community.”

Reid said the annual Y Dream Home Lottery will continue, noting it provides much-needed revenue to the organization.

© Kamloops This Week

 


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