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BETA Center scheduled to close in June

Board chairman says nonprofit doesn't have financial means to stay open

ORLANDO, Fla. – BETA Center in Orlando, which focuses on parenting, teenage mothers and at-risk families, plans to close in June.

In a statement to News 6, board chairman Bob Simmonds said the nonprofit organization looked at its circumstances from every angle and tried for nearly a year to find effective solutions.

"But we have come to the heartbreaking conclusion that we have no more options," Simmonds said. "We simply don't have the financial means to keep our doors open."

Barbara Wetzler, the agency's interim president and CEO, says for the last 40 years they have provided dignity, care, and service to teen moms and young families.

"There are thousands of BETA girls and BETA children out there in our community," Wetzler said.

The nonprofit provides clothing, diapers, and food to young moms, as well as housing, counseling, and school.

"We've been getting calls from former BETA girls who are just distraught that the agency is going to be closing because of the lives they're now leading because of BETA," Wetzler said.

The organization says it needs $500,000 to stay open.

"To be able to re-position itself to maintain the core services it has, but then to look at other related services that would be appropriate for a redefined mission so that BETA could stay solvent for decades to come," Wetzler said.

Wetzler tells News 6 52 employees will lose their jobs over the next few months. The agency is holding out for hope that the nonprofit will be saved.

"I still believe in miracles and I like to believe there are some heroes out there who would like to step forward and save BETA," Wetzler said.

News 6 has learned BETA Center is scheduled to close June 30.


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