YouthPride board chair Jordan Myers took to Facebook today to make a plea to raise $25,000 in the next week. The agency that serves metro Atlanta LGBT youth may close if financial shortfalls aren’t met, its executive director said yesterday.
“YouthPride in Atlanta provides COMPLETELY FREE services to LGBTQ youth. We need to raise $25K in the next week. Get out your check book and send a donation. Checks are best, since online takes longer to process. YP is the only family many of our youth have. PUT THE WORD OUT! YouthPride needs YOUR help. Go to www.youthpride.org for our mailing address and additional info,” Myers’ post reads.
Myers could not be immediately be reached for comment.
YouthPride Executive Director Terence McPhaul said today the nonprofit organization needs to raise $40,000 by Dec. 31 or faces having to close 60 days later.
The amount of money needed by the organization that serves metro-Atlanta lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth ages 13-24 has varied in the past two weeks. McPhaul said Dec. 8 he wished for $50,000. YouthPride Board Chair Jordan Myers took to Facebook Dec. 9 to say the agency needed to raise $25,000 in a week.
YouthPride has raised approximately $20,000 in the past few weeks and remains open and operating, despite a plea from its executive director that the agency would shut down in 60 days if $40,000 was not raised by Dec. 31.
Terence McPhaul is executive director of YouthPride, the agency that serves metro Atlanta lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning youth ages 13-24. He said in an interview Wednesday that the agency has raised about half of its fundraising goal of $40,000. While the Dec. 31 deadline has passed, he added the agency has extended its deadline for reaching the goal.
As YouthPride struggles with a financial crisis that could force the LGBT youth agency to close, its volunteer board is not meeting on a regular basis and two board members listed on the organization’s website say they are no longer involved.
In response to an emailed interview request, YouthPride Board President Jordan Myers wrote today the board has not met regularly because he is more focused “on the financial aspect of our organization than in holding to a meeting schedule.”
YouthPride’s board of directors has not met in two years, according to one board member who added she was not aware of the nonprofit’s current financial crisis and possible closure.
YouthPride, which serves lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning youth ages 13-24, is facing a $67,000 shortfall this year after it did not receive expected grants of $27,000 from United Way and $40,000 from Fulton County, according to Terence McPhaul, the organization’s executive director.
McPhaul said in December that if YouthPride did not raise $40,000 by Dec. 31 it would be forced to close in 60 days. The agency has only raised about half of that amount, McPhaul said on Jan. 12, but continues to operate and offer programming.
With YouthPride in the midst of a financial crisis and facing possible closure, Executive Director Terence McPhaul will only say that the nonprofit’s board of directors met perhaps in December 2010 to elect a new member but that he doesn’t recall specific dates.
McPhaul was interviewed after Monday’s meeting of the Atlanta LGBT Police Advisory Board, of which he is a member. He said the board has met within the past two years, disputing a claim made by former board member Marlys Bergstrom.
The board of directors of YouthPride is supposed to meet monthly with annual meetings in September and have a minimum of five members, according to the organization’s bylaws. But the YouthPride board has perhaps three current members and hasn’t met since at least December 2010, despite the LGBT youth agency facing possible closure because of a financial shortfall of at least $40,000.
YouthPride today provided the GA Voice a copy of its bylaws following a written request.
YouthPride faces immediate eviction for not paying more than $34,000 in rent, according to recent letters delivered to the nonprofit agency by attorneys representing the property owners.
The nonprofit serving lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer youth ages 13-24 has been told that Fulton County law enforcement can show up any day and ask the occupants to take their personal belongings and leave the premises.
Two ad-hoc committees of community volunteers will try to assess the current financial and legal status of YouthPride and insure that at least some services for youth continue should Atlanta’s troubled LGBT youth agency close.
YouthPride has received an eviction notice for its current facility in Inman Park, Board Chair Jordan Myers told a group of LGBT leaders and allies who attended a meeting Jan. 25 at AID Atlanta convened by gay teacher Charlie Stadtlander to discuss the YouthPride crisis.
Myers said he could not recall the date the eviction would take place.
Gathered around a table at Avondale Pizza, several young people waiting for their food to arrive joked about school, the different haircuts they want and teased some friends who accidentally went to Savage Pizza down the street.
All utilize the services provided by YouthPride and say they are grateful for the agency and do not want it to disappear.
Volunteer task forces says they now consider YouthPride closed and are implementing a contingency plan devised to relocate programming and services to other agencies. YouthPride is metro-Atlanta nonprofit organization serving lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer youth ages 13-24.
“The task forces are now treating YouthPride as if it’s non-operational,” Charlie Stadtlander told the GA Voice. Statdlander, a gay teacher, organized a Jan. 25 meeting of LGBT leaders and allies that resulted in the formation of two volunteer task forces to look at the financial and legal viability of the agency as well as how to deal with programming should YouthPride shut down.
YouthPride has not paid rent since June 2011 and is being sued for back rent and late fees totaling more than $40,000, according to court documents filed Feb. 17 with the Fulton County Magistrate Court. The metro-Atlanta agency will also soon be given an official eviction notice from the Fulton Sheriff’s Department.
The complaint was filed on Friday, Feb. 17, said Peter Morgan, the attorney representing Inman Park United Methodist Church, YouthPride’s landlord. The agency that serves lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer youth ages 13-24 is located on Edgewood Avenue in a space on the church’s property.
Rushing in some 45 minutes after a town hall forum had already started on the viability and stability of YouthPride, the agency’s executive director almost immediately began arguing with the forum’s volunteer organizers.
The attorney for Inman Park United Methodist Church, which leases space to YouthPride and is suing after months of unpaid rent, strongly disputes a charge from the LGBT youth agency’s executive director that the organization has any legal claims against the church.
“As it relates to the $40,000 rent, which we have always said was overpriced… the bottom line is this: We have legal claims against the church as well,” YouthPride Executive Director Terence McPhaul told attendees at a March 6 town hall meeting, which was hosted by an independent task force concerned about the future of LGBT youth services in Atlanta.
YouthPride is digging in to fight the lawsuit filed against the LGBT youth group by its landlord Inman Park United Methodist Church, which says the LGBT youth group nonprofit owes more than $40,000 in back rent.
A court date is set for March 20 in Fulton Magistrate Court to try to settle the dispute, according to online documents filed with Fulton Magistrate Court. The notice was mailed out to the parties on Tuesday, March 13.