Then I came across a post at Queers United about the Q Youth Center (the active myspace page is set to private to protect members/ but you can read the mission here as well) being on the verge of shutdown y se fue mi tranquilidad. It was nice while it lasted.
The Q Youth Center offers a wide array of services to the GLBTQ community and its allies in Syracuse New York. Its primary service population is youth between the ages of 13-22. This is a critical age group as it represents one of two major stages in which the GLBTQ suicide rate is highest (the other being amongst elders) and this is a direct result of limited services, failed inclusivity, and sanctioned homophobia and heterosexism in the schools.
The Q Youth Center acts as an invaluable counternarrative to youth struggling to find themselves or to be validated in all of their diverse beauty. Thus they provide services to youth including: weekly identity specific support groups, social events, HIV education and testing, drop-in counseling, and an arts program to encourage exploration of key queer youth issues through art, crisis intervention and referrals. They also offer an array of educational programs on health, safe sex, and computer literacy as well as help with school work. As part of their services they also have a GLBTQ Multimedia Library which is open not only to youth but also teachers and administrators hoping to diversify the curriculum and better support queer youth. They are an invaluable program to not only queer youth but educators and young people living with HIV.
Many of the services they offer are based on volunteer labor and donations. However they need money to keep their building, paid staff, and to support library acquisitions and the computer center. Due to budget cuts, the Onondaga County Department of Aging and Youth is cutting funding to multiple programs.As of now, the Q Youth center is on the list of programs to be cut.
The Q Youth Center needs you to write a letter to the County in support of their continued funding. You can send letters to the following address:
Governor David A. Paterson
Albany, NY 12224
County Executive Joanne M. Mahoney
John H. Mulroy Civic Center, 14th Floor
Syracuse, New York 13202
You can also donate directly to Q Youth Center as a stop gap measure while the County makes its decisions. To find out how, contact Elizabethe Payne at 800.475.2430 or firstname.lastname@example.org