HAMBURG, N.Y. (WIVB) - Hopevale is shutting down its Hamburg facility after more than 155 years providing services for troubled youth in this community.
Just before Christmas, 265 western New Yorkers will lose their jobs at Hopevale. It's the end of a very long history of caring for troubled teens.
The Sisters of Our Lady of Charity started caring for troubled and orphaned girls in 1855. Right now there are 40 neglected or abused boys and girls living at the facility and the Hopevale school brings in another 80 teens each day. But the entire facility, including the school, will close, mostly because of a trend to put more of these teens in homes instead of residential complexes. Hopevale is funded by the county and state, but it means 265 workers will be out of a job.
Hopevale consultant Jim Walter said, "Well the first thing I say for them, it takes a special person to do this kind of work. When exactly people will be out of a job, we don't know because we need to put a plan together for the close down of this treatment center, and our foster care group, and our wrap-around services and our detention with the county's and with the state. So I don't know exactly, but I think it will happen pretty rapidly."
It's been a roller coaster ride for Hopevale employees. One worker told News 4 that just three days ago, they had a pep rally announcing they had a grant to stay open for a few more months. The next day they were told they would be out of a job in four to six weeks. On Friday, some of those teens left already and on Monday, others are expected to leave. A lot of them will be placed in different facilities by Christmas. A teacher at the school tells News 4 that they hope to keep the school operational until at least June.
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