Neutral Zone teen center in Ann Arbor temporarily closes, suspends programming

Nine teams competed in Neutral Zone's TEEN 24 Hour Film Competition. (Sarah M. Parlette)

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Ann Arbor’s Neutral Zone will temporarily close its doors and suspend programming over the spring and summer.

On Friday, Neutral Zone Executive Director Lori Roddy and Board of Directors Co-Presidents Lori Bennett and Samiksha Sneha issued a letter to the community stating that despite its efforts, challenges stemming from the COVID-19 crisis will force the nonprofit organization to close and furlough the majority of its staff.

“Due to this financial challenge, we have had to reassess our priorities. We are committed to continuing to provide food to our families in need and refer youth to crisis support,” the letter read. “And, we want to be here for our teens as the long-term impact on their families, education, financial and emotional well-being pile up in the coming months.”

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According to the letter, the Neutral Zone wants to be able to help meet the needs of its teen community, their families and its staff in the long run.

Due to the pandemic, the nonprofit organization faces a shortfall of up to 20% of its annual operations budget due to the pandemic.

On April 13, the organization will temporarily furlough the majority of its staff. The remaining staff will continue to offer supportive resources to local teens and will take salary cuts.

See the full letter to the community here.

The organization also offers a list of COVID-19 resources for the Washtenaw County community. Here is that list.

Neutral Zone is at 310 E. Washington Avenue.

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