Rising From The Ashes

By Giving Hope ArizonaJuly 15, 2018
It was a moment of crisis for one∙n∙ten and the LGBTQ youth it serves when an arson fire destroyed its Youth Center on 3rdstreet in midtown Phoenix a year ago this week. The organization's team scrambled to deal with the lost equipment and supplies donated to support its programs and the emotional toll on the youth who relied on the center as a safe escape from a tough world.
 
Now, one year later the new Youth Center, located at the Bob & Renee Parsons Health and Wellness Center on Central and Portland Avenues, has won design awards, inspired dozens of new and longtime volunteers to pitch in to rebuild and shore up the organization after losing so much in the fire, and go on to serve hundreds of LGBTQ youth with its programs and services in a place they often call "home."  
 
A special gathering is planned for July 26, 2018 at 6pm to provide highlights of the recovery process and the impact of the community rallying at a time of need.
 
More than 353 youth ages 11-24 have been served in the center since the grand opening of the new 5,000 sq. ft. space in September of last year. Thanks to the Bob and Renee Parsons Foundation, the new Youth Center, which was thankfully already in the works when the fire occurred, enablesone∙n∙ten to have a hub for programs, services, special events, and the regular counseling and group activities needed by the LGBTQ youth across the Valley. The youth are struggling with a variety of challenges including homelessness, bullying, isolation and lack of self esteem.
 
"This is Home" has become the regular response from youth who were impacted by the fire, and now take advantage of the full offerings at the Youth Center. Of those one∙n∙ten has supported since the Youth Center opening - 70 percent are 18-24, while 30 percent are 11-17 years of age. Eighty-two percent identify as LGB+ and 18 percent identify as heterosexual or allies.
 
The Center is often seen as a refuge because there is little to no housing available for homeless youth in Arizona, yet 1,186 young individuals are said to be living on the streets. Forty percent of youth experiencing homelessness identify as LGBTQ. one∙n∙ten works to fill the gaps with access to meals, toiletries and clothing, as well as medical care support, heat relief and domestic/sexual violence advocacy support. The new Center is also just off a light rail stop making it more accessible to youth from across the Valley.
 
Key updates:
  • New colorful banners were just added to the Youth Center windows to help those in need find their way to one∙n∙ten. The organization continues to collaborate and work with the nearby downtown community, in addition to growing its youth programming offered across the broader metro region and in other parts of the state.
  • Outcomes from the fire resulted in dozens of companies coming forward to donate goods and services, volunteer time and dollars and ensured that the items lost in the fire for Camp OUTdoors were replaced. This nationally-celebrated camp that occurs over Labor Day, taps dozens of volunteers, including those who were re-inspired to help after the fire.
  • A firefighter competing in the organization's Dancing for ONE∙N∙TENevent set for August 19 heard about the tragedy on the news and is now practicing his moves to raise money and bring awareness forone∙n∙ten programs.
  • Holly Street Studio wins honorable mention for the Youth Center design by Contract Magazine and its Inspiration Awards.
  • A rainbow crosswalk that links to one∙n∙ten was just installed as one of two Phoenix Pride's crosswalks in the city of Phoenix. Come walk the rainbow.
To mark the year of rising from the ashes, one∙n∙ten invites the media and the community to a short program:
 
Date and Time: 
Thursday, July 26, 2018 at 6pm 
Location: 
1101 N. Central Ave - one∙n∙ten Youth Center 
Reception following at FEZ, 105 W Portland St, Phoenix 
 
The short program will include an update from one∙n∙ten on its Youth Center impact and its award-winning design, stories of resiliency from the youth, how the community rallied, an inspirational story from a Phoenix Firefighter who is busy practicing his dance moves for his involvement in Dancing for one∙n∙tenand a stroll across the recently-installed colorful Pride crosswalk.