Local youth program set to close due to lack of funding - KPTV - FOX 12

Local youth program set to close due to lack of funding

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PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

A popular after-school program is getting ready to close its doors, leaving hundreds of kids with nothing to do.

The Greater Portland Police Activities League (PAL) has run out of money and can't keep the doors open at its Portland location.

For more than two decades, PAL has been a part of this community and has helped thousands of kids over the last 20 years.

"He's in the after-school program and participates in the basketball, archery and other activities that keep him active until I can pick him up after school or work," said Stephanie Wahne, whose 8-year-old son is a big fan of PAL.

This facility is a place where kids between the ages of 8 and 18 can come and hang out to play games, get tutored or participate in many other activities.

For parents, it's a place they can count on to keep their kids off the street.

"These are kids that would be considered at risk," said Mark McGinnis, PAL board president.

After this week, those kids will have to find a new place to hang out.

"I can't even imagine the impact it will do," said Wahne.

The nonprofit has survived for years with help from federal, state and local grants, as well as money from the community.

When times got tough, PAL would cut costs in order to survive, but this week, it simply ran out of money.

"That's part of the heart-wrenching part of this, it did come very quickly," said McGinnis.

So quick that many parents only found out Tuesday.

"My first reaction was just heartache because I saw my son crying. He was absolutely distraught about this," said Wahne.

Now parents are trying to figure out where to take their kids and how to keep them safe and off the streets.

"Kind of frantic of what am I going to do for childcare now that it's half way through the school year and I have nothing but four days," said Wahne.

"The impact I think is pretty significant not only just for a pure sympathetic standpoint but from a community strength and involvement standpoint," added McGinnis.

PAL needs $ 20,000 by the end of the week in order to keep going.

One thing to note is that the Beaverton facility will remain open.

There is a fundraiser set for Friday, Feb. 22, to help raise money for this location.

For more information log onto PAL's website, http://www.portlandpal.org/.

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