The Youth Crisis Center (YCC) is one step closer to opening the doors of its new, nine-bed House of Hope emergency homeless shelter thanks to the Delores Barr Weaver Fund at The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida and generous donors. The House of Hope, located on YCC’s campus, will serve young adults 18-24 years old, who identify as LGBTQ, are being stigmatized, discriminated against or are the targets of violence.
In a national study, 40% of homeless youth identify as LGBTQ. In Jacksonville that number is actually higher at 60%. The House of Hope is a collaboration led by YCC and includes JASMYN and Changing Homelessness. The projected opening date is June 2019, which coincides with LGBT Pride month. Efforts are still underway to raise the remaining $34,614 of $243,273 for the first-year operation costs.
YCC has hosted numerous tours through the restoration planning process to showcase expected changes while allowing community members to vote on flooring and paint colors. Currently, there are opportunities for individuals, companies or organization to underwrite costs related to opening and sustaining the program. Each of the nine bedrooms and common spaces are available for adoption with naming rights for donors.
The community and local organizations were asked to provide support in order for YCC to match the funds available through the Delores Barr Weaver Fund Matching Grant challenge of up to $100,000.
“We are so appreciative of the generous support shown by our community, individual donors, businesses and organizations to raise the $95,500,” said Kim Sirdevan, president and CEO of Youth Crisis Center. “It shows that they understand the needs of our homeless young adults and every day that goes by with the House of Hope not open, is one more day this young population is in possible danger of being exploited or at risk.”
“The YCC House of Hope will be a beacon to young people who have had the crushing experience of alienation from family support,” explained Delores Barr Weaver. “We need to embrace them so that they may gain the footing they need to be productive good citizens in our community.”
Generous supporters for the House of Hope Matching Grant challenge include Jeff Chartrand, Fidelity Information Services, Florida Blue, Andrea Fritschle, Robert Hudson, Stinson Lenkerd, Lynch Family, Michael and Glenn Miller Family Foundation, Ryan Bickerton and Adam Pendley, Reynolds Family, Joseph Barton and David Rinzler, RS&H, Leona Sheddan, Charlene Shirk, Simply Healthcare Plans Foundation, Sundstrom Family, TIAA, Vystar Credit Union, Mary Walter, MaryEllen Willis Foundation, Brian and Jake Wolfburg.
To learn more about the Youth Crisis Center, or to donate in support of its programs or the new House of Hope emergency homeless shelter, please visit www.ycc.org. Tours of YCC and the House of Hope are open to the public, please call 904-446-4966 to schedule.