YMCA of Douglas County moving forward amid pandemic

YMCA staff said the facility has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Posted: Apr 24, 2020 1:35 PM
Updated: Apr 25, 2020 2:53 PM

ROSEBURG, Ore.—The YMCA of Douglas County is moving forward after closing their doors to their members in March due to Gov. Kate Brown’s stay-at-home order.

YMCA staff said the facility has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. Staff said they’ve laid off most of their 145 employees and they’re applying for small business loans to help cover costs.

They’re also looking for ways to cut costs on their own, like draining the pool and turning off utilities.

Some members also offered to continue paying their dues as a donation to the organization’s COVID-19 relief fund.

“It’s really and truly to help us reopen our doors,” said Amber Gries, YMCA membership director. “It’s cost of operations. It’s a really expensive facility, it’s 80,000 square foot, 145-plus employees to fully operate.”

Gries said she’s still unsure when they’ll reopen the facility again. However, she said she’s optimistic it will happen soon.

Some YMCA members told KEZI 9 News that they’re anxiously waiting for the recreation center to reopen.

“It’s been really hard,” said Cathy Manchester, a YMCA member. “And I know it’s not been hard just for me. I know it’s hard for everybody.”

For the time being, they’re resuming limited activities. For example, Gries said they opened their doors to the American Red Cross to host a number of blood drives. They’re also setting up their river rescue stations a few months early.

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