D-day for the Youth Emergency Shelter’s holiday fundraising goal has come and gone, leaving the charity a quarter-million short and with the looming decision of cuts to staffing and programs.

“Ultimately, as much as our staff are concerned about their jobs, everyone here is here because they have the kids at heart,” YESS spokeswoman Sue Keating said. “That’s what worries us more, the consequences to the kids.”

The not-for-profit gives troubled youth a reprieve from life on the street or potentially dangerous living situations.

The overnight shelter on Whyte Avenue is currently at capacity every night, forcing staff to turn some kids away.

Both intensive live-in programs are full, and its day program is providing for 20 to 40 children each day.

Staff are hoping fundraising events, including an upcoming multicultural dinner, will help recoup operating expenses and hamper cuts.

“We may not have to go there, but they’re not decisions we want to make under the gun,” Keating said. “We do have to prepare for that eventuality now, because it’s certainly not impossible.”

For information on how to donate, visit www.yess.org.