Tough Times for Augusta Youth Center

By: Jonathan Martin
By: Jonathan Martin

October 6, 2005
These are tough times for the Augusta Youth Center. Tuesday, they got a $5,000 donation, but now that money is gone. News 12 is on your side to show you why the center may have to close if more money doesn’t come in soon.

It’s been credited with keeping children off the streets. The doors at the Augusta Youth Center are open now, but may not be too much longer.

“It’s kind of rough. It’s kind of hard right now,” said Pat Jones, Youth Center Director.

Pay Jones says once again money is running thin and time is running out.

“We’ve contacted some churches in the community to ask them for help and as of now, we’ve only heard from one church,” Jones said.

Tuesday, commissioners Betty Beard and Bobby Hankerson presented the center with a $5,000 check to help after donor’s funds ran out after the center spent about $40,000 on renovation. But the money they’ve received was only enough to keep the lights on and the water running.

Now Ms. Jones says funds are so tight that they’ve had to lay off four employees and cut back on the children that can come to the center.

“It’s hard, it’s in my head,” said Melissa Johnson.

Melissa Johnson says even if the center can’t pay her, she will stay around because the children need her.

And the center has done all kinds of fundraisers from having a donut sale to a fish fry and they even have a penny jar, hoping that small change will add up to big progress.

But those types of fundraisers just aren’t enough. Long-term help is what Pat Jones says she really needs.

“Now, fundraisers are down and they’re down because everyone’s trying to help everybody who came from Katrina and Rita,” Jones said.

But despite the slow progress, Pat says she’s not ready to give up yet.

“I just know it’s going to work out, don’t know how it’s going to work out, but I know it’s going to work out,” Jones said.

Director Pat Jones says if money doesn’t come in soon, they will have to lay off more employees. But she says all of them have agreed to work until the end of the month, with or without pay.

Mailing Address: P.O. Box 1212 Augusta, GA 30903 Main Telephone: (803) 278-1212 Newsroom: (803) 278-3111 Fax: (803) 442-4561
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