Autism Center in the Poconos at Risk of Closing

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CHESTNUTHILL TOWNSHIP -- The Pennsylvania Autism Action Center in Chestnuthill Township has served hundreds of families for almost five years.

Michelle Byrnes has been bringing her son Terrance, who is 4, for the past two years.

"It's just an enormous amount of help. They are caring, supporting, and like I said, my guy has just done an amazing job," said Byrnes.

Byrnes and many others are upset to hear that the center is at risk of closing.

Owner Michelle Demarsh says that because of delays in insurance payments, paying rent and paying employees has become increasingly difficult.

"Before we get paid, it might be eight weeks. I am putting the money out for our staff. It had never really been an issue before but because we had a growth spurt, a bunch of new clients that really needed services, it has put us in a position where we are not getting that money back quickly enough," said Michelle Demarsh, PAAC Owner.

Managers at PAAC say they are doing all they can to keep the center running. In fact, some parents are even stepping in to help.

Demarsh says donations and sponsors are a big help, but it's still a day to day process.

"We are doing everything we can to stay open for the people who need our services, and we are a team of fighters. I know we are going to get through this," said Demarsh.

"If it was your child, you would need this and you would ask others for help too," said Byrnes.

A GoFundMe page has been set up to help with costs for the Pennsylvania Autism Action Center.

The center hopes to have everything straightened out within a couple of months.


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