Indiana Youth Group Announces Acquisition of New Activity Center and Public Phase of $2.6 Million
"The Power of Safe" Capital Campaign
$1.75 Million Committed To Campaign During Silent Phase!
Jan 17, 2017 - Indiana Youth Group (IYG) emerges from the silent phase of its capital campaign with seventy percent of its $2.6 million dollar goal raised in just six months.
Bill Osterle, Angie's List co-founder, made the announcement today. "I am proud to serve as the Honorary Co-Chair of the Capital Campaign for Indiana Youth Group alongside Chris Paulsen. In a world where our LGBTQ neighbors do not have non-discrimination laws to protect them, it is more vital than ever that our youth have a safe place to thrive. Our LGBTQ youth deserve to grow in a community that supports who they are and helps them reach their potential as healthy adults."
Indiana Youth Group provides safe places, wellness programming, education and advocacy for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning youth (LGBTQ) and the community, including schools, employers, parents and health care providers. Nearly seventy donors including individuals, churches, corporations and other non-profit organizations have supported IYG's capital campaign during the silent phase, a period of intense internal planning and leadership gift commitments to ensure success for IYG's vision.
"We have been amazed by the support during the silent phase of the campaign and know the public phase will deliver similarly impressive results simply because of the current climate, people want to do something meaningful," said Capital Campaign Committee Co-Chair Michael Overdorf. Co-chair, Krisztina Inskeep, a parent and LGBTQ advocate agreed, "We are grateful for the efforts of our Capital Campaign Committee and thank all the donors for their investment in this vision. Now we call upon all organizations and individuals to help COMPLETE this project, to get motivated, and give. These are uncertain times in the LGBTQ community, so, frankly speaking, your contribution is more important than ever!"
Founded in 1987, by two members of the LGBQT community who witnessed an alarming trend upward in LGBTQ youth calling a suicide helpline, IYG has been located in a house near 46th and Binford since 1992. Demand for IYG's services have outgrown its current activity center. In 2015, IYG served nearly 700 youth and there were nearly 6,000 youth visits to the activity center.
Participation in IYG programs has grown exponentially in the past few years, and that trend is expected to continue. With just a nominal 25% increase (about half the rate of IYG's growth in each of the most recent years), IYG will serve an average of 245 youth per week - almost double current attendance - by 2018.
Administrative Staff moved out of IYG's current activity center in early 2016 to provide greater space for IYG's 30+ monthly programs, but the facility continues to limit the number of youth that can be served. Each year, more youth seek out IYG. With growth, other issues like limited parking, no direct access to public transportation and limited outdoor space has made the current facility nearly impossible to meet the critical demand for services. IYG's leadership wanted to ensure that the organization was prepared to meet the need for services before a situation occurred where youth would have to be turned away because of limited capacity. A larger, more functional facility will enable IYG to have a greater impact on more lives.
Chris Paulsen of Freedom Indiana and Honorary Co-Chair to IYG's Capital Campaign explained why there is such an urgent need for a larger facility to serve more youth, "LGBTQ youth are 4 times more likely to attempt suicide as their straight peers and the rate doubles to 8.4 times if the youth comes from a rejecting family." Paulsen went on to highlight some more staggering numbers, "Indiana has the nation's highest rate of students who have contemplated suicide and the second highest rate of high school students attempting suicide. One in 9 Indiana youth have attempted suicide. We need to look at youth suicide as an epidemic." Paulsen laid out the timeline and again stressed the urgency, "Ideally, we would like to raise the remaining $850,000 by April. Every single day IYG doesn't have space to serve youth in need, is a day too long."
Mary Byrne, Executive Director of IYG provided details about IYG's new home, "With monies raised during the silent phase, IYG paid cash for an incredible facility on near 38th and Meridian, that will both accommodate all of IYG's current program space needs and also will allow for sustainable future growth! Youth and staff will have the space they need to plan and participate in social and program activities more comfortably and efficiently. One of our priorities is to be even more accessible to the youth who need us the most. The new center is prominently located at a major intersection and on several bus lines, and can be easily accessed by foot, car and public transportation."
Once construction/renovation is complete, the new building will include the following features:
• Computer lab/education room
• Art space
• General activity rooms and Social Group rooms
• Large multipurpose room
• Smaller Case Management rooms
• Full ADA compliance
• Storage for food, clothing, technology, group supplies, event planning, and case records
• Large kitchen with space for preparing meals and cooking classes
• Individual and shared office spaces
• Professional training/Conference room
• 6 Gender neutral bathrooms
• Picnic area
• Performance Stage
• Fire Pit
• Multi-purpose sports and activity area
• Fenced parking area for 40 cars
Reaching the campaign goal will coincide with another historic milestone for IYG-the celebration of Indiana Youth Group's thirty-year anniversary in 2017. Indiana Youth Group is one of the largest LGBTQ youth centers of its kind across the country. It is unique in that it is a stand-alone organization serving LGBTQ youth and the community rather than being a division or arm of a larger umbrella organization.
Therefore, through collaboration and partnership with other youth-serving organizations, IYG is able to serve as a one-stop-shop for our youth who are empowered through wellness programs, social and leadership opportunities, family support services and educational programs that include homework sessions, tutoring, study groups, career and college prep. IYG works closely with medical and mental health organizations throughout the state, more than 80 GSA organizations inside Indiana schools and dozens of LGBTQ Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) at Indianapolis corporations, who provide financial and volunteer contributions.
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For more information about volunteering or supporting IYG's vision through the Power of Safe capital campaign click the green donate button or email email@example.com.