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Christamore House laying off seven employees

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Christamore House officials announced Monday that the Indianapolis not-for-profit plans to lay off seven of its 19 employees and also may temporarily reduce client services to ease its financial struggles.   

The social services agency, one of the oldest in the city, said it needs to raise $200,000 to continue operating through the rest of the year and to start fresh in 2011 with a smaller staff and a focus on core services.

The Christamore House Guild Gala, set for Nov. 6 at the downtown Conrad Hotel, will provide some additional revenue. The event will highlight its boxing program operated by the Police Athletic League.

Its revenue so far this year is $770,000, down dramatically from $1.3 million in 2009, a Christamore House spokeswoman said.

“This organization has been historically underfunded, and the unexpected economic crisis has resulted in a demand for services that also has been unprecedented,” Christamore Board Chairwoman Shenia Suggs said in a written release.

Financial difficulties began to emerge in early summer, when the agency began to struggle to keep pace with the growing demand for services, which has increased 375 percent since 2008. Within the past year, however, donations have fallen 46 percent.

Founded in 1905 by two Butler University students, the Christamore House’s mission is to promote the general welfare of residents in the near-west side community near downtown and the IUPUI campus.
 

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