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Myers Park Baptist Church donates $100,000 to Time Out Youth Center Capital Campaign
Center Press Release: March 31, 2017
CHARLOTTE – Myers Park Baptist Church has announced a $100,000 gift to Charlotte's Time Out Youth Center. The Church has a 20-year history with the Center, having provided meeting space when the group formed in the late 1990's. Scott Crowder of the Church's Ministry of Outreach notes that Myers Park Baptist "is called to support and protect those who are at risk, dehumanized, or excluded.” The gift comes two years after the Ministry of Outreach invited Time Out Youth Center, RAIN and church leaders to MPBC for a day-long conversation on youth and rising HIV rates. MPBC’s gift will support the Center’s plans to purchase and renovate an existing building to serve as a center for LGBTQ youth, and also to build a shelter for 10-12 homeless youth by 2020.
“This is an extraordinary gift for the Center,” stated Michael Condel, Time Out Youth Center Board Chair. “The gift sends a message to Center’s clients and to the city that the faith community cares about the LGBTQ community. We so appreciate the trust and love that MPBC has shown to the Center over many years. Thank you to everyone at MPBC who made this happen.”
Myers Park Baptist Church is known for its social activism and community involvement. From the beginning, their ministers and laity have lent their voices to issues of social justice and stewardship of the environment. Founded in 1943 as a church that preached the gospel and reflected the spirit of religious freedom rooted in the Baptist tradition, MPBC fosters a spirit of community and belonging as they welcome and integrate LGBT visitors and members into the church.
Time Out Youth Center is the oldest and largest LGBTQ organization in the Carolinas, and provides a safe gathering place, counseling, and job support for LGBTQ youths 11-20 years old. "A shelter is a piece of our programming that has long been missing," said Rodney Tucker, the Center's Executive Director. "The Center has operated a fledgling housing program in recent years that places LGBTQ youth with volunteer hosts. However, only ten youth a year can be housed due to lack of space. LGBTQ youth who grow up in homophobic or transphobic homes face tremendous cruelty and abuse. We hear from youth who have suffered physical, emotional and verbal abuse, and it is common to hear their lives are 'against God' and kicked out of their home. The need for a permanent shelter is acute,” concluded Tucker.
Time Out Youth Center launched the five-year capital campaign of $3.4 million in December. The campaign will fund the following projects: the recently announced purchase and upfit of the Center’s new permanent home at 3800 Monroe Road, provide expanded programs and services, build a 10-bed LGBTQ Homeless Youth Transitional Living Shelter by 2020, add to operating reserves by establishing a quasi-endowment fund through the Foundation for the Carolinas, and allow the Center to remain debt-free.
The Center’s client visits doubled in 2016 over the year before, largely due to the ongoing debate over HB2. In 2016, the Center saw record attendance, with 357 new youth visiting our Center for the first time compared to 162 in 2015. The drop-in space was used 4,683 times (2,370 in 2015), and discussion group sign-ins numbered 3,419 (1,930 in 2015). The Center also has a large and growing School Outreach Program, now with state-wide impact with the recently announced Welcoming Schools program in partnership with Equality NC.
The Charlotte Observer | February 28, 2017
Member of prestigious Charlotte family funds LGBT youth shelter in name of gay grandson
BY MARK PRICE
Charlotte’s population of gay, lesbian and transgender youths has won an influential and well-financed advocate in the cause to build North Carolina’s first homeless shelter for LGBT kids.
Sarah Belk Gambrell, a member of the Belk stores dynasty, announced she’s giving $1.5 million to the ambitious project from her Gambrell Family Foundation.
The money amounts to nearly half the $3.4 million Time Out Youth, a gay youth advocacy group, seeks to raise for the purchase and renovation of an existing office building to be a hub for LGBT youth support. The site in east Charlotte will also host a soon-to-be-built shelter.
Leaders in the nonprofit community say 98-year-old Gambrell’s gift represents more than just an infusion of desperately needed cash. It’s also about the prestige the Belk family name brings to the cause of LGBT rights.
Michael Marsicano, president of Foundation for the Carolinas, says the family is among the state’s most influential philanthropists, with a legacy of focusing community attention on issues. “Sarah Belk Gambrell has always been a woman ahead of her time and of her time. She has led the way for women in business and in philanthropy. Now she steps forward to help young people who often have no safe and nurturing place to turn,” Marsicano said. “Her voice has such credibility, donors will follow where they might not otherwise have gone. We need bold leadership in our community and this is another outstanding example of the Belk family taking on that role.”
Rodney Tucker, executive director of Time Out Youth, says the money will be “life changing for the center and the LGBTQ community of Charlotte.”
“It is a statement to the city, state and country that we are more than House Bill 2 – that our city cares about the LGBTQ community and will ensure that our city is a welcoming place for all,” he said.
Sally Gambrell, the daughter of Sarah Belk Gambrell, manages the Gambrell Foundation and she says the money is intended to be both a public show of support for LGBTQ youth and a stand against North Carolina’s anti-gay law House Bill 2. That law, known as HB2, prevents municipalities from extending civil rights protections to LGBT people, including the right to be openly gay at work without fear of being fired.
It was passed to negate a 2016 Charlotte law that extended civil rights protections to LGBT people, including the right for transgender people to use the restroom of their gender identity.
Sally Gambrell says LGBT rights is a cause that recently became personal after one of her teenage sons came out as gay. She says Time Out Youth’s programs were there to help him.
“Right now, I’m in shock at everything going on in this state,” said Sally Gambrell, noting her son “is the way God made him.”
“I think HB2 is a knee-jerk reaction based on fear of what we don’t understand...And let’s be honest, homosexuality has been around forever. But it’s not my position to judge others (opposed to LGBT rights). I don’t want to add fuel to the fire. I just want to invest in young people so they can reach their potential and contribute to society. I’m inviting people to join me.”
News of the donation comes just days after the federal government reversed an Obama administration guideline for public schools that allowed transgender students use the restroom of their gender identity. The decision is considered a major setback for transgender rights.
Time Out Youth says North Carolina’s rancorous dispute over restroom rights led to an upswing in LGBT youth seeking help last year. Visits to the Time Out Youth’s leased office space on North Davidson Street doubled in 2016. The agency is best known for offering a safe place for gatherings of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning youths between 11 and 20.
A shelter is a piece of the programming that has long been missing, Tucker says. Time Out Youth has operated a fledgling housing program in recent years that places LGBTQ youths with volunteer hosts. However, only 10 youths a year can be housed, due to lack of space.
Experts say there are 20,000 LGBTQ youths living homeless in the country, many of them forced from their homes by parents who refused to accept a gay child. Tucker says his shelter plan calls for counseling and job support programs for the youths who stay there.
“LGBTQ youth who grow up in homophobic or transphobic homes face tremendous cruelty and abuse,” said Tucker. “We hear from youth who have suffered physical, emotional and verbal abuse; it is common to hear their lives are ‘against God’ and kicked out of their home alone, without anything. This shelter will give our youth a place to call home.”
Time Out Youth is [one of] the oldest and largest LGBTQ organization in the Carolinas, existing on an annual budget of about $560,000. A portion of the $3.4 million being raised is tended to create a steady source of financial support. An investment fund has been created at Foundation for the Carolinas.
To date, the Time Out Youth campaign has raised $1.78 million. The nonprofit was forced to go looking for a new headquarters after learning it was about to lose its leased office on North Davidson Street. A developer who bought the property has given Time Out Youth until spring to move out, so apartments and retail space can be built on the lot.
Work has already begun on renovating the LGBT center site at 3800 Monroe Road, which could open in April. The 7,400-square-foot building includes a plot of land where the new 10-bed shelter is planned. Construction will start in 2019 and be complete in 2020. The property is already zoned for both current use and future shelter plans, officials said.
Sally Gambrell helped Time Out Youth find the site, Tucker says. “I told Sally of our predicament and she immediately offered to help. She asked her real estate consultant, Chris Thomas of Childress Klein, to offer advice.”
Gambrell says her mother, Sarah Belk Gambrell, fully backs the plan to give money to the project, in part because she didn’t like the idea of anyone mistreating one of her grandsons because he’s gay.
“Not all families are as understanding, meaning other children who come out as gay may not be as lucky to still have a home,” Sally Gambrell said. “I think this (shelter) could save lives.”
Mark Price: 704-358-5245, @markprice_obs
Who is backing Time Out Youth campaign?
Donors so far include the Gambrell’s lead gift adds to other early campaign gifts from Tim Alwran, Victor & Charletta Armstrong, John Arrowood, Sandy Berlin, Timothy Bice & Walter Kearns, Rhett Brown & Carl Brinson, Layton Campbell & Les Ackerman, Jeremy Carter & Kevan Ohl, Jessica Chapman & Julie Fullen, Michael Condel & Ivey Graham, Gay & Lesbian Switchboard of Charlotte, Carl Hughes & Danny Schott, Joseph Lewis, Malone & Rafe Lockaby, Leslie & Michael Marsicano, Kirsten Sikkelee & Paul Walker, Scott Stover, Team Ree & Tee, Chris & Cory Triolo, Andy Dews & Tom Warshauer, Bryan Welborn & Michael Farmer DMD PA, Wells Fargo Foundation, L. Michael Wofford, and Warren Womble & Rob Williams.
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Time Out Youth Center purchases building on Monroe Road for a permanent home
Tuesday January 3, 2017
The Board of Directors of Time Out Youth Center today announced that they have purchased the building and property at 3800 Monroe Road in Charlotte to establish a permanent home for the 25-year-old organization. The purchase price was $875,000. Renovations will start this month, with a grand opening scheduled for Sunday, April 9, 2017.
Thru November of 2016, Time Out Youth Center had over 4,152 sign-ins for use of the after school drop-in space (compared to 2,300 sign-ins during all of 2015). Time Out Youth Center supports lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning youth ages 11-20 by offering vital programs, fostering unconditional acceptance, and creating safe spaces for self-expression through leadership, community support and advocacy.
After researching other rental spaces and conducting a detailed cost analysis, the Board felt the purchase was a prudent investment and worthy of the community’s support. The building at 3800 Monroe Road has 7,400 square feet and includes a plot of land that can be developed in the future. This allows the Center to strategically plan expanded programs and services, and build a 10-bed transitional living shelter for LGBTQ homeless youth by 2020.
The Monroe Road building sits near the intersection of Monroe and Eastway/Wendover, only 3.6 miles from the uptown transportation center. The location is accessible by car from all local counties and has more than 20 parking spaces, with a CATS bus stop directly in front of the building. The property is already zoned for both current use and future Shelter plans.
“The Center is here to stay,” stated Michael Condel, Board Chair. “We were already outgrowing our N. Davidson Street space, and with the attention that HB2 received in the state and national press during the past year, there were increased demands for services from youth, parents, educators and allies. The Center is in a strong financial position to consider this option. Condel continued, “With this purchase, we are also announcing an ambitious five-year campaign to raise $3.4 million dollars. We’ll be fast-forwarding our fundraising, and will be calling on the community to invest in our future with a capital gift, an annual operating gift and/or a legacy gift.” All sixteen board members have made a pledge to the capital campaign.
For more information about the Time Out Youth Center, the new building or the capital campaign, please contact Rodney Tucker at email@example.com