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Boys & Girls Clubs of Northeast Ohio temporarily lays off 'most of' staff due to coronavirus closures

The organization says they're hopeful they can resume services in the summer, and is looking into federal assistance

CLEVELAND — In a statement to Cuyahoga County Advisory Board members Tuesday morning, Boys & Girls Clubs of Northeast Ohio announced they'd be temporarily laying off the majority of their staff due to the coronavirus.

"This is a message I hoped I would never have to deliver," Board Chair Rich Wallack said in the letter. Wallack said that the majority of the Clubs' funding is dependent on their services, like after-school programs, which the organization projects they'll be unable to do at least until the end of this school year.

The mass layoff is to cut costs and to allow employees to file for unemployment benefits. According to the statement, the organization is also looking into federal funding for assistance.

"We must preserve the long-term future of Boys & Girls Clubs in Northeast Ohio and its ability to emerge from this crisis," Wallack said. 

Projecting for the future, Wallack said that the organization is hopeful they'll be able to start offering services again in the summer, "but cannot project that with any certainty."

While local clubs are closed, Boys & Girls Clubs of Northeast Ohio are still distributing food to local families, and are trying to develop online resources for area children.

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Unemployment claims in Ohio have gone up by more than 100,000, in the last few weeks since the coronavirus forced businesses to close. The Ohio Department of Jobs & Family Services has seen inceased volume both on the phone and online. The department is recommending those trying to file for unemployment use their website, unemployment.ohio.gov, and to file claims during off-core hours.

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