AUBURN — Citing declining enrollment and fewer low-income parents who need its help,

Catholic Charities took over the center from the Sisters of St. Joseph’s in 2002. The sisters had run it as a day care for 40 years before that, according to Catholic Charities spokeswoman Judy Katzel.

It currently has 28 children full time and 24 part time.

The closure on June 30 will make way for new and expanded services in the 4,400-square-foot space.

“As part of our mission, we want to serve low-income families and work with the state on those that are voucher-dependent in the area, and in reality, the vast majority of families using the St. Joseph’s Center were private pay,” Katzel said. “It just made sense, based on the fact that we really weren’t serving the low-income population, that we could better use that space.”

Catholic Charities’ instructional library for its Education Services for Blind and Visually Impaired Children program will relocate there from Augusta. 

“That really needs the additional space,” she said. “And we’ll have the ability to add some mental health services that have not been available in the Auburn area.”

A program to help people transitioning out of homelessness will also move into the building.

Katzel hoped the new programs would be in place by September. She said it was unclear how many jobs would be created or moved there. The childhood center has five full-time employees and eight on-call staff. Katzel said Catholic Charities will try to help them find new jobs within the organization or in the community.

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