Big Brothers Big Sisters of Ulster County closes its doors

Last Thursday, the Ulster County chapter of Big Brothers Big Sisters, a nonprofit that matches children with older mentors, closed its doors after 34 years in operation.

The Daily Freeman reports that the Kingston-based local chapter was done in by a combination of the poor economy and loss of federal funding.

Chairman Fred Wilke told the Freeman that the full impact of the loss won't be felt until the children that the program would have served get a little older:

“Even a program like Big Brothers/Big Sisters, which has a proven record of success with children, has lost federal funding,” Wilke said, though he noted other Big Brothers/Big Sisters groups across the nation continue to receive federal aid. “The net effect of cancelling programs like this will be felt four to six years down the road, when the kids who should have had intervention have not been able to get it and may wind up disadvantaged socially and economically.”