Parents and community members gathered at Government Center Friday night to discuss the status of Stamford’s Yerwood Center. Recent events led some to believe the Center was closing its doors for an indefinite period of time.
On Saturday, March 1, The Yerwood Center’s Board Chair and Interim Director, Fernando Luis Alvarez, announced that the facility might be shutting down because of a lack of funding to pay employees.
“We thought we had to close immediately,” said Alvarez. “We didn’t really have a plan to actually be able to legally operate the Center.”
But Alvarez said the Board of Directors was able to figure out a way to keep the Center operating.
“We managed to do something over the weekend,” he said. “On Sunday I was pretty much on the phones till very very late.”
Alvarez said the Center’s employees will continue to work there as volunteers and collect unemployment until they can get paid again. He said the Center will be accepting applications from anyone interested in volunteering effective Monday after 2 p.m. Alvarez expects funds to come in soon with the help of donors, and said the Board is working on finding ways to raise money. Alvarez said the Board is also in the process of searching for a new full-time director.
“We’re hopeful that we’re going to raise money, and a lot of money, in the months to come," he said. "We have great people supporting us.”
After learning that the Center was in danger of being shut down, former employee Bonnie Campbell filed an injunction against the Board. Campbell said the Center's programs are not operating as they should be and the Board's actions are endangering the Center's future.
“They’re not complying with the bylaws,” Campbell said.
Campbell organized Friday night’s meeting to explain the injunction and discuss what it means for the Center. A lawyer was present to answer questions and explain what's next. If found valid, the injunction will be processed and a court hearing will be set, at which time both parties can plead their case.
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