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Fort Worth Center For Deaf Closing Friday

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FORT WORTH (CBS11) - For decades, the Goodrich Center for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing helped those in a silent world, live life out loud.

A handwritten sign posted on the doors at the 2500 Lipscomb Street building in Fort Worth announced its impending closure.

After Friday, January 27, the center will be no more.

At a final meeting Tuesday inside the building, longtime board members explained the circumstances to the people who use the facilities.

"Unfortunately the funding has dwindled down to where we can no longer support this organization," said A.B. Lampkin.

Lampkin and his wife Dorothy have been with the nonprofit center since its inception.

Founded in the 1970's by Fort Worth philanthropist Maurine Goodrich, the location provided services and referrals for a community with few resources.

"They were coming up with poor jobs, lesser pay, and we did everything we could to increase their standing," said A.B. Lampkin.

It was space for socializing as well.

"For the deaf, it's a place to come and socialize and meet other people. They're living in a very silent world," said volunteer David Edmondson.

Countless friendships blossomed in the building. Edmondson, who was struggling with hearing loss later in life, met his wife Sharon there.

At the time, Sharon was volunteering at the front desk. She had turned to the location for help after losing her own hearing at age 60.

David asked her if she knew anything about cochlear implants.

"Ta-da," she said, showing him the cochlear implants she had just had put in.

The rest is history. The two became friends, and would later get married in the garden of the center that brought them together.

"There are going to be thousands of people lost without this center," Sharon lamented.

Dorothy Lampkin said one of the options the board is considering is selling the property and using funds to provide grants to individuals in need of cochlear implants.

"It's like losing a family member. After you lose a family member, you do your best to move on. That's what we're doing," said Mrs. Lampkin.

(©2017 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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