BRIDGEPORT - The Thomas Merton Family Center in Bridgeport will be closing later this week.

Program staff says the center's closing will leave children and mothers with no place to go during the summer, and that emergency funding is needed to keep the center open.

Families who use the center, which is run by Catholic Charities of Fairfield County, are petitioning the board of directors to keep it open, according to the staff.

Supporters of the center made their voices heard during a rally this afternoon on Catherine Street.

Officials say that dwindling attendance over recent years and financial struggles were the main reasons for the decision to close the Thomas Merton Family Center. The closure is expected to take place on Friday.