YMCA suspends child care programs


The Hawaii Island’s YMCA is hoping to get back in the black this year following significant cuts to its programs in 2013.

The nonprofit organization in Hilo suspended its child care programs last year while facing a $400,000 deficit.

As a result of the cuts, Bobby Stivers-Apiki, who took over as interim CEO on Wednesday, told the Tribune-Herald the YMCA is down to four staff positions.

“We had maybe 25 at one point,” he said.

With the loss of the child care programs — including Y Tots pre-school, School Age Child Care and Y Teen — the organization is promoting its “Healthy Lifestyle and Social Responsibility” programs.

In a press release, the YMCA called it its “pinnacle program.”

It includes its “Nothing Fancy. Just Feel Good” fitness center with a personal trainer available, Zumba classes and a strength and cardio fitness center for adults.

Volunteer fitness instructors are being sought.

The YMCA is continuing its supervised visitation program for children with separated parents.

Stivers-Apiki attributed the YMCA’s deficit to a decrease in membership and competition for services.

He said it will likely continue to operate at a loss for the first half of the year but he hopes to turn it around afterward.

Stivers-Apiki said the YMCA is looking at new programs to increase revenue, but he wasn’t ready to discuss details.

“We have to look at new revenue sources,” he said.

The YMCA operates at 300 W. Lanikaula St. in Hilo.

Previously, it had centers in Waimea and Kona.

Stivers-Apiki said the Waimea location closed in 2009. The Kona location, downgraded to a “program center,” closed in October.

“Our mission is still solid and we will still serve our community,” he assured.

The YWCA of Hawaii Island also made cutbacks recently by closing its pool.

Email Tom Callis at tcallis@hawaiitribune-herald.com.

 

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