BOSTON (State House News Service) – Boys and Girls Clubs in the state expect to lose $20 million in revenue by the end of 2020 due to the pandemic and are grappling with the sustainability of operations, according to the director of the organization representing the clubs.
The 40 clubs serve about 175,000 young people, providing education, recreation, health and wellness, and workforce readiness services at 67 sites.
During a lunchtime Facebook Livestream Friday with Sen. Eric Lesser (D-Longmeadow), Massachusetts Alliance of Boys & Girls Clubs Executive Director Jenn Aldworth described how clubs have reacted to evolving state regulations and $13 million in lost revenues to date as a result of lower program and fundraising earnings.
“The issue becomes sustainability, right. And so, we are trying to do what is asked of us, and what is needed of us during this time,” Aldworth said. “But we can’t continue to operate at this rate without some support.”
The fiscal 2020 budget included $2.2 million for the alliance, with $2 million earmarked for equal distribution among member organizations. Like many who keep a close eye on the state’s finances, Aldworth said she is anxiously waiting to see what the fiscal year 2021 budget will look like.
Also on Aldworth’s radar: an economic development bill that is pending before a conference committee where legislators work out their differences and Lesser serves as the Senate’s lead negotiator. The legislation entered negotiations on July 31 and Aldworth said she hopes it gets to the governor’s desk soon.
“Because what that will do is it’ll provide $10 million, not just to clubs, but access to out of school time providers to help support the work that they already have been doing,” she said. “The most important thing is to retain our qualified, passionate, creative staff.”