TOY to move, purchase property

In its 25th year, youth organization set for growth

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Time Out Youth Center (TOY) has announced that it will be moving from its current location at 2320 N. Davidson St. due to the sale of the property on Aug. 31. The new owners are not renewing leases and TOY will be required to move out of its 3,000 sq. ft. facility by the summer of 2017.

As a result of the action, the Board of Directors has decided to purchase their own building in the near future, the organization said.

“The Board had a crucial decision to make,” stated Board Chair Michael Condel, a senior vice president at Wells Fargo. It is his opinion that the decision is prudent to the future of TOY. “Like many other non-profit organizations, we face increasing rental rates if we continue to rent, or scaling back some of our necessary programming. This purchase will allow us to grow into more services that have been indentified that are needed in the LGBTQ youth community.”

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The center, founded in 1992, offers support, advocacy and opportunities for personal development and social interaction to LGBT, queer and questioning youth ages 11-20. It works closely with Gay Straight Alliances, provides trainings with schools and leads training for faculty and undergraduates, among others. As of this date, it has two satellite groups operating in Concord, N.C. and Gaston County.

It’s executive director is Rodney Tucker who has been with the center for five years. The operating budget currently is $554,800 and it employes six full-time staff, three part-time staff and over 100 volunteers.

HB2 has presented TOY with challenges, Tucker commented, adding that the center has much to do to protect youth and work on their community engagement.

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The board is putting a team together to handle legal and banking details along with the real estate transaction. Additionally, it will form a campaign cabinet and has already hired Dan Kirsch to lead the campaign’s staff.

“Usually there is a ‘silent campaign’ before announcing the public part of capital campaign; unfortunately, with a move imminent, we don’t have that luxury,” Tucker shared. The capital campaign and cabinet will be announced at a later date.

Kirsch is no stranger to the Charlotte community. He was instrumental in creating One Voice Chorus, the OutCharlotte cultural festival and was the first executive director of the now defunct LGBT Community Center of Charlotte when it was located on Central Ave. He returns after serving in artistic and cultural directorships in Virginia and California.

Tucker has asked if anyone knows of a building that would be perfect for TOY’s new home to contact him at 704-334-8335 or via email at rtucker@timeoutyouth.org. The center would also graciously accept the contribution of a building if one was available, he commented.

info: timeoutyouth.org.

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Posted by Lainey Millen

Lainey Millen is QNotes' associate editor, special assignments writer, N.C. and U.S./World News Notes columnist and production director. She can be reached at specialassignments@goqnotes.com and 704-531-9988, x205.