BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – The Franciscan Center, a ministry for runaway and homeless youth located on Seneca Street in Buffalo, will cease its mission after 38 years of serving the community.
The announcement was made during a press conference held Tuesday.
The ministry will close due to dwindling numbers of young men seeking help from the Franciscan Center, executive director Fr. Joseph Bayne said Tuesday.
As of Jan. 1, the Franciscan Center relinquished certification by and affiliation with the NYS Office of Children and Family Services.
“We were never into the numbers game, but in stewardship to the good, generous corporations that have supported us- in stewardship, we can’t continue to take in their generous gifts when sometimes we have no young men to serve,” Bayne said. In 2017, the center served only 18 youths.
He added that he feels the issues affecting runaway and homeless youth in the WNY community “are still out there”.
Bayne and the center’s assistant director, Maureen Armstrong, spent the last year studying the needs of youth in the WNY community, consulting with other forums and compiling data comparison statistics on ministries similar to the Franciscan Center.
“After reflection on those results we realized the changing needs and issues of young people in today’s world have surpassed what we are able to offer in our Living Skills and Emotional Life Steps Program,” Bayne said.
The staff of the center thanked the community and corporations for their assistance over the past 38 years.