CHARLOTTE, N.C. (News Release) — The Grand Opening of Time Out Youth Center’s new building will be held on Sunday, August 20 at their “Forever” home at 3800 Monroe Road, Charlotte. The Grand Opening event will include a ribbon cutting, will honor campaign donors, and will showcase a time capsule created by youth (to be opened during the organization’s 50th anniversary in 2041).
The Grand Opening Ceremony is open to the public and starts at 2:00pm. A Community Open House immediately follows from 2:30-5:00pm, where board and staff members will host tours of the new facility.
In January of 2017, the Time Out Youth Center Board of Directors announced the purchase of the 7,400 sq. ft. building with additional property at 3800 Monroe Road in Charlotte, establishing a permanent home for the 26-year-old organization. “We are thrilled to move into our Forever Home and are so thankful for the deep community support we have received during this process,” said Executive Director, Rodney Tucker.
Time Out Youth Center is one of the oldest and largest LGBTQ organizations in the Carolinas, and provides a safe gathering place, counseling, and job support for LGBTQ youths 11-20 years old. 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 the 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 launched a $3.4 million capital campaign at the time of the building purchase. In addition to the purchase and renovation of the building, the five-year campaign will expand programs and services (such as providing more free counseling and establish weekend hours), and will build a 10-bed transitional living shelter for LGBTQ homeless youth by 2020. As of July 25, 2017, the campaign had raised $2.25 million in gifts and pledges: $1.5 million from the Gambrell Family Foundation; $100,000 from the Howard R. Levine Foundation; $100,000 from Myers Park Baptist Church; and more than $550,000 from more than 100 donor households.
“Our LGBTQ youth are the beneficiaries of this outpouring of support,” stated Michael Condel, Board Chair. “Each gift to the campaign honors their courage and tenacity to be who they are. The board and staff are honored to assist them on their journey.”
The new Center includes a large group room, multi-purpose room, computer lab, counseling office, four gender-neutral restrooms, kitchen, shower room, laundry room, pantry, plus program, school outreach and administrative offices. The building also has three tenants (Equality NC, Transcend Charlotte and Sarah Yum, LMFT) and a community room that will be available this fall for any group to schedule and hold board meetings and public forums. The building sits near the intersection of Monroe and Eastway/Wendover, and 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.