Written by Amy Andrews
Time Out Youth is the oldest and largest LGBTQ nonprofit serving the Carolinas. They primarily cater to youth ages 11-20, providing social and emotional support for over 1,000 individuals. Time Out Youth has an extremely long history of serving the great Charlotte community and will be celebrating their 30th anniversary next year.
Executive Director Rodney Tucker shared that they have a variety of therapeutic support groups that meet regularly, as well as fun groups that include dance parties and movie nights. In more normal times, most of those events are held at their headquarters on Monroe Road, along with satellite groups held in North Mecklenburg, Cabarrus and Iredell counties. Due to the current COVID-19 environment, Time Out Youth’s robust programming has transitioned to being online for the time being.
“The thing I hear most often about Time Out Youth is that most of our kids feel this is the only place they are truly respected and can be themselves” said Tucker. “Many of our kids are struggling with depression and suicidal thoughts. They feel as if they’ve found their family here and the sense of having friends who understand them gives them a reason to live.”
Time Out Youth does not receive any local, state or federal funding and is not a United Way agency. “Everything we do at Time Out Youth is free,” said Tucker. “We rely on the kindness of our donors for everything.” As with so many others, they have had to cancel fundraisers that account for a significant portion of their budget and donations are their greatest need.
In addition to their therapeutic groups, Time Out Youth’s solution-focused case management helps youth with an extensive housing program. Primarily serving those ages 18-24, this program is focused on getting youth into their own home as well as finding host or foster homes. Last year alone, Time Out Youth helped secure housing for 53 people.
Time Out Youth also offers a Life Essentials closet that is stocked with toiletries and other household items. They also keep a supply of gift cards in $10 increments that are always in great demand. Donations of gift cards and items from the closet’s Amazon Wish List would be gratefully received. Another way to give is through a ‘virtual housewarming’ when an individual graduates, to address specific needs from a unique Amazon Wish List.
Looking forward, Time Out Youth casts a hopeful eye toward their annual Prom. This extravaganza is a chance for hundreds of youth to come together at a traditional Prom event with a few twists. This years’s Prom will be on September 27 and attendees are encouraged to dress to impress with a Decades theme.DID YOU KNOW: Time Out Youth is in the running to win $5K this month thanks to the Amy and Brian France Foundation who have partnered with SHARE Charlotte for this year’s Spotlight Series and YOU can help when you VOTE NOW! You can also check out the other organizations eligible to win this month’s prize, here!
Our friends at Time Out Youth were recently highlighted by WBTV, watch the segment, here!