Struggling Youth First Texas forced to cut summer hours, issues call for donations

Posted on 14 Jun 2010 at 8:36pm

Staff writer David Taffet will have much more on Youth First Texas in Friday’s Voice, but frankly this situation sounds almost too grave to wait three days. YFT’s Board of Directors has issued a statement that hints the 10-year-old organization for LGBTQ youth is in somewhat dire financial straits. Read the full statement after the jump. To contribute to Youth First, go here

Board of Directors Statement
Like many other nonprofits in the community, Youth First Texas (YFT) has experienced a greater need for services, and unfortunately a decreased level of financial resources.

YFT’s move in January 2010 to a new location provided an opportunity to meet the increasing number of youth served which is surpassing even the Board of Director’s projections. YFT has seen 1,700 unique visits by youth to the YFT Dallas Center since January, an increase from the same period last year. New initiatives offered this year include a stable and individual counseling program staffed by graduate interns, survivor’s group, coming out group and HIV testing (in partnership with the Resource Center Dallas). An exponential growth of transgendered youth attending YFT is requiring an increase in the level of services provided through YFT’s Gender Identity program. The Collin County YFT group is experiencing increased numbers of youth attending programs also at the center in Plano.

While the YFT Board of Directors is encouraged by this growth, there has been an impact from the reduction of revenue available. Many donors have continued their extremely generous support through YFT’s sustained giving program for which there is great gratitude. Unfortunately, a decline in the number of one-time contributions from individuals and corporations is being experienced this year.

YFT has worked to manage these reductions to limit the effect on services and programs during the busy start to the year, and have sought access to a number of grants available. The grants are not expected to be awarded until the latter part of 2010, or early 2011. This has left YFT with the decision to address the shortfall to ensure that YFT continues to serve the ongoing needs of many youth. While the board works diligently to not reduce services during annual peak periods, summer has provided the opportunity for the board to address the financial shortfalls that have affected YFT.

The board is announcing the immediate plan to reduce expenses by limiting the number of days the YFT Center is open during the summer, which will limit some services currently provided. While the board is fully committed to preserving the programs and services to the youth that have come to depend upon them, the difficult decision had to be made to cut back YFT hours of operation for the summer due to lack of available funds. In cooperation with YFT staff, the board has also made fiscally responsible cuts and continues to look for ways to increase revenue.

Even with these decisions, the financial situation for YFT is not good. During these next few months, as YFT carefully navigates through this financial squeeze, your help is needed. Please consider making a donation today. Any amount will help YFT continue to provide a safe space for our LGBTQA youth.

There are several ways to contribute to YFT as indicated on the YFT donation page. The Board of Directors stand committed to demonstrating good stewardship of your gifts and sincerely appreciate your loyalty and shared belief in YFT’s mission to reach the LGBTQA youth of our community that have called Youth First Texas home for the past 10 years.

Questions related to this may be directed to our board co-chairs, Cathy Gonzales and T.J. Wilson.

Thank you for your support.

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