City agency pulling out of Marshall, Mattahunt community centers

By 
Gintautas Dumcius
Apr. 13, 2010

The Boston Centers for Youth and Families will pull out of eight facilities, including the Marshall community center in Dorchester and the Mattahunt community center in Mattapan, the agency's executive director told city councillors on Wednesday. The announcement comes ahead of Mayor Thomas Menino filing his fiscal 2011 budget with the City Council on Wednesday.

The other six facilities include the Agassiz and English in Jamaica Plain, the Johnson Community Center in Roxbury, the Walsh center in South Boston, the West Roxbury Community Center, and the Stillman Tennis Center in Charlestown.

Dorchester and Mattapan also have the Murphy, Holland, Gallivan, Cleveland, Mildred Ave., and the Perkins. BCYF, the city agency, operates 46 sites across the city, an increase from three community centers forty years ago.

City officials say services will remain at the centers, but BCYF won't be operating them.

"The reality is that operating 46 sites within the city prevents us from achieving the level of quality, accountability and consistency that our communities deserve," Daphne Griffin, BCYF executive director, wrote in a letter to City Council members. "Our staffing remains thin across our network of sites and many sites are under utilized as a result."

She wrote that the staff will be re-deployed the operation of the sites will transition to other community and non-profit partners.

"In the majority of these facilities there are other organizations already offering programming who will likely expand their own programming at those locations," she wrote. "At some facilities, we are working with new organizations that may begin providing new programming or expanding our current partnerships with organizations such as Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston."

She added: "The transition of the operation of these sites to partners that can continue and in some cases increase services to our residents may allow us to address these challenges with a sustainable approach."

The agency is "committed to providing summer programming," she wrote, "as planned in all of our BCYF locations this summer and will continue to work with all of our partners to increase quality, consistency and opportunity for all of our members."

A full list of centers is available here.

Check back for more on this and the city's fiscal 2011 budget in this week's Reporter.

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