A driveby shooting that injured 13 captured national attention last month, but just a block away from the scene of that crime, an organization aimed at preventing youth violence is in danger of closing.
The Bill Butler-Julius Wyatt Clubhouse, a part of the Boys & Girls Club, is scheduled to close Friday after four decades.
“I’m very angry, upset,” said Lynay Cyrus, a single mother of four.
Her children attend an after-school program at the clubhouse at 120 M St. NW.
“It means a lot to me, because it kept me out of trouble when I was young, and it’s keeping my generation, my kids out of trouble,” she said.
Paul Alagero, the Boys & Girls Club’s local chief development officer, says the club has a $250,000 deficit. They would need $42,000 by Friday to keep the club open for another three months, giving them time to figure out a new plan, he said.
“Because of financial situations that have been mounting over several years, has made the board make some tough decisions,” Alagero said.
Two weeks ago, surveillance video captured the shooting as 13 people -- mostly teens – were blasted with sprays of gunfire from two cars just one block from the club.
“There hasn’t been anything violent in this club, but still you want to close it,” one woman spoke out during a meeting on the club’s future.
“If those tough decisions were not made, every site throughout the metropolitan area would be closing,” Alagero said.