When one hears of a nonprofit organization, one thinks of that organization as safe, peaceful, caring, kind and giving. Those who work for nonprofit organizations are thought to be honest individuals with integrity. I have not had a very positive experience at the Solvay Youth Center, which is a nonprofit organization. I have been told that as a member, I am not able to bring any other guest other than my children, due to a liability for the Youth Center. I have been personally approached by a life guard and the Rec Leader named Joe. They have both stated that only my children are to attend the facility with me, yet I see many other individuals bring in other children that are not their own. As a youth mentor, I open my house to children in unsafe, toxic homes. Some of those children I bring to various activities since they do not have many other opportunities. The most children that I have brought at one time that were not my own were two. They were also between the ages of 10-13. These children are at risk youth who need love, understanding, compassion, and a kind heart. They do not need to be told that they are not welcome. Also, the pool has had less than 10 kids/parents any time that I was in the pool myself. My bringing two extra children from time to time has not caused the pool to become overcrowded, and as a matter of fact, myself and my children have often times been the only family in the pool. My first day as a member was memorable. Not in a good way. When I signed my name in at the front desk, a women in who was in charge was unkind and verbally abusive. She had mistaken me for another individual, another woman who apparently had caused a fight to break out at the Youth Center. When I clarified that I had not been in the Youth Center since a sixth grader at St. Cecilia's the young woman still accused me of being the person who seemed to cause much stress to the facility. I contacted Joe, the Rec Leader and told him of my extremely negative experience. I had asked him to talk to his employee. I had nothing but negative comments and rude behavior from the employee after he supposedly talked with he. Her attitude affected myself and my children, so I stopped going to open swim/family night. I had found out this past winter that this employee no longer worked for the Solvay Youth Center. I was relieved. I contacted Joe about my membersjhip fees, as well as let him know that I did not pay for the months that I was not at the youth center. He stated that, that was ok, as my membership was at a reduced rate of 15$ a month during the months that I used the facility. Joe had asked me to bring 15$ my first night back as that was what agreed upon for me to remaing a member. When I brought my children and another friend with children (she signed up for a membership with the same guidelines as I.) Joe was not available. I asked the young girl at the sign in desk if she could take the 15$ membership fee. She stated that Joe had not discussed this with her, and that she could not take my money as the files were locked up. Joe did show up later that evening after being called by the lifeguard. He asked who my friend and I had in the pool. Between us we have 8 chilfen. Joe did not seem to believe us and asked us not to bring any extra children to the facility. He then immediately left the building. At no time did he ask for my 15$. I also could not leave the pool area as it has been styated that parents may not leave pool area during family time. Joe seemed very abrasive. My friend, Michelle, picked up on his negative behavior and commented on it to me. I went back t the pool the second time this winter two weeks later. After about 30 minutes of open swim, the life guard approached me and asked me to fill out a membership form as I was not a member. I told him, that I indeed was a member, and he loudly stated that I was not. He stated that at least three times. I asked him to confim with Joe, as Joe knew thtat I was a member. To my surprise Joe showed up and in the doorway to the pool told me that I was not a member, and that I needed to fill out a membership. I asked Joe to please locate my file that proved otherwise. Joe then stated, "When I do not find your membership, I am going to kick your ass out of here." He stated this in front of a man and his four children who happened to be in the hallway. I asked Joe not to use foul language as that was unkind, inappropriate, especially in front of young children. Joe did locate my membership and stated that I "escaped out the back door with my 15$ the last time that I was at the pool." He also stated "I have this on video." I explained to Joe that the girl at the front desk was unable to take my money the last time that I was at the pool. Joe then asked me to get my children out of the pool as I was "no longer wanted" in the Solvay youth Center. I of course was shocked and became upset. I told Joe that I brought the 15$ with me and would be more than happy to get it. He then stated that he would not take my money and was going to call the cops. I immediately got my children out of the pool and had them take a shower to wash off the chlorine. While we were exiting the ladies room, two male police officers were waiting for me. They let me know that Joe called them and wanted to hear my side of the story. The two police officers were kind and listened patiently. When I was finished, they stated that my story and Joes story were conflicted. I asked for them to have Joe come back and talk as I was concerned about the inconsistency of what was discussed between Joe and I. When Joe told his side of the story it sounded very much like what I said. He stated though, that a membership form needs to be signed yearly as well as the money paid up front. I stated to Joe and the officers present that I was unaware that a new membership needed to be signed each year as well as the agreement was that I would pay for the membership monthly during the months that I used the facility. Joe stated that he was not going to allow me to do so as well as I was not welcome back. After some intervening by the officers, Joe agreed that I could only come back after paying the full yearly amount up front. I had stated that due to my financial situation I was unable to do so. Joe then stated I was not welcome back as I need to pay up front like the rest of the members. The officers reiterated that when I could pay the fees, I would be able to come back. I was then escorted out of the building with my children in tow by the police officers. Apparently Joe had asked for this to be done. Both officers were apologetic and stated that they were just doing their job. I then apologized to both officers, shaking their hands thanking them for their time and was sorry that such an unfortunate incident had to happen. They were extremely understanding. At this point in time, I feel utterly at a loss. Joe, the lifeguard were both rude and inconsiderate. Joe was verbally abusive. My children were embarrassed and humiliated. I was embarrassed, hurt and humiliated. Many individuals witnessed my family and I being escorted out of the facility. I am hoping someone reads this and is able to reach out to Joe, the board members, and tell my story. No individual should ever be harassed, especially over 15$ dollars. No child should have to hear foul language.
Review from Guidestar