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YouthPride sued for $40,000 in unpaid rent and fees, told to leave premises

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.

Included in the complaint is a notice that is to be taped to the door of YouthPride by Fulton County Sheriff's officers mandating a representative or attorney of YouthPride appear at the Magistrate Court to answer the writ of possession — the eviction notice — in writing or orally within seven days of it being served.

“If YouthPride receives any formal notification related to what you have identified, YouthPride will act accordingly,” YouthPride Executive Director Terence McPhaul said, when asked by GA Voice about the agency's plan in light of the court filing.

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Interim services for YouthPride programs outlined after task force considers LGBT agency closed

A volunteer task force formed to come up with a contingency plan for those utilizing YouthPride's services should the LGBT organization close released a detail plan Monday, Feb. 20, after members issued a statement saying they now consider the agency closed after it received no response from Board President Jordan Myers about his directive from last week to dissolve the agency on Friday, Feb. 17.

YouthPride Executive Director Terence McPhaul, however, told the GA Voice the agency remains open.

For youth seeking counseling services, information on support groups and HIV testing, these options have been made available from the task force:

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[UPDATE] Independent task forces consider YouthPride closed; ED says LGBT youth agency is still open

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.

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Town hall meeting set for March 6 to weigh YouthPride’s options in face of financial crisis

More than $34,000 behind in rent and with no legal board of directors in place, the viability — as well as legality — of nonprofit YouthPride is being heavily questioned by a group of volunteers seeking ways to either save the organization or ensure its services are absorbed by other agencies should it close.

Two volunteer task forces  covering programming and viability met Feb. 8 at CHRIS Kids with the viability task force reporting that the nonprofit agency that serves lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer youth ages 13-24 is in “imminent” danger of losing its home in a space rented from Inman Park United Methodist Church due to past due rent.

The final task force reports will be released to the community on Feb. 24 and a town hall meeting is scheduled for March 6 at St. Mark United Methodist Church from 7-8:30 p.m.

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YouthPride faces immediate eviction; legal existence of agency questioned

YouthPride Executive Director Terrence McPhaul

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.

"The Fulton County Sheriff's Office has been put on notice … and can knock on the door and ask YouthPride to leave the premises," Patt Cianciullo, a CPA who co-chaired a volunteer task force to look at the financial situation of YouthPride, said at a meeting Feb. 8 to discuss the group’s findings.

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Ad-hoc committees try to help save YouthPride

External shot of LGBT youth advocacy organization YouthPride

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.

They understand the nonprofit is facing a financial crisis, can’t pay its rent and is dealing with administrative difficulties. Two community volunteer ad-hoc committees have formed to study YouthPride’s financial and programming viability and are scheduled to make a public report to the community on Feb. 8.

“It’s sad but at same time the people would find ways to continue on [if YouthPride] closed,” said Sean Hussey, 24, who identifies as transfeminine and is a computer science major at Georgia Tech.

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It’s up to all of us to decide whether we still deserve to be the gay capital of the South

Outwrite is closed. YouthPride is teetering on the brink. Atlanta Pride will have a new leader for the first time since 2008, and it will be the first year since 1999 that James Parker Sheffield has not been involved.

Only a month into 2012, the year has already brought tremendous change to three iconic institutions in LGBT Atlanta. Outwrite was the city’s highest profile LGBT business. YouthPride is one of our city’s most important and beloved LGBT organizations. And Atlanta Pride is by far our city’s largest and most visible LGBT event.

What all of these changes mean for Atlanta will take months or even years to determine, but one thing is certain: How we respond to them will define whether we deserve to keep our reputation as the gay capital of the South.

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An open letter to the LGBT youth of Atlanta about YouthPride’s troubles

Dear LGBT Youth,
 
It is very likely that by the time you read this letter, you are doing so with the knowledge that the future of YouthPride, an organization which is so important to all of us, is in a time of crisis. You may be afraid that the programs and services YouthPride offers, the financial trust of funders, and the physical location of the organization are all in jeopardy. While it cannot be denied that there is great reason to be concerned, we come to you today with the committed and reassuring message that your LGBT leaders and allies across Georgia have joined together at a level of determination and unity rarely seen to make sure that we do right by the very young people who are the future and backbone of our community’s movement.

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YouthPride board of directors violates own by-laws

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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.

According to YouthPride bylaws:
• The board shall exist of at least five directors and a maximum of fifteen directors.
• Regular monthly meetings of the board will be held at a time and place to be decided by the board. These and all meetings shall be open to the public, except those executive sessions, if required, in order for the board to consider matters affecting confidentiality.
• The annual meeting of the board shall be held in September.