PORTLAND -- A program that thousands of local children have relied on for years announced Tuesday night it was just days away from closing its doors.
Police sent out a press release saying the Greater Portland Police Activities League would close by Friday if the program cannot come up with emergency funding.
The closure will include the office at the Portland Police Bureau's north precinct and the center in Gresham.
PAL has provided activities for kids for decades, including youth football, soccer and arts and crafts. The program also serves breakfast and lunch to between 80 and 100 children daily.
Limited information was released about the closure, including why it happened so suddenly. It took the kids by surprise.
“It really hurts that it has to close at 6:00 on Friday, and I just didn't know,” said 10-year-old Damian Johnson
Program director Joseph Johnson was also surprised by the decision.
“Where else can they go? What can they do?” Johnson asked. “We love to take care of these kids, man.”
PAL’s board chairman Mark McGinnis declined to comment Tuesday, but planned to release a statement Wednesday.
The prepared statement from the police bureau had no explanation from executive director Patricia Day TenEyck about the reason for the program's demise.
The Beaverton PAL center will remain open.