By Kristen Donia —
Q: When was One-N-Ten founded?
A: One-N-Ten was founded in 1992 by Toby Urvater. It was all volunteer-led until about 12 years ago.
Q: What do you offer and who do you serve?
A: We serve LGBTQ youth and their allies as young as age 11. Everything with One-N-Ten is free to youth. We offer food, clothing, computers, a music room, and games. We have a workshop/group each night which includes cooking classes, art therapy, etc.
Every Labor Day Weekend we have the largest LGBTQ Leadership Camp in the world called, Camp OUTdoors. Taking 150 youth to Prescott and “bringing outdoor adventure & empowering workshops to LGBTQ youth from all across the country.”
We are in partnership with K-12 and have the Queer Blended Learning Center attached to the Youth Center where youth can obtain their diploma. And the YES Program helps youth get the skills they need to get jobs.
Many of our programs are for ages 14-24, though we have age-specific nights too. Our Downtown Phoenix Youth Center is open Monday through Friday from 3:00pm to 7:00pm. On Thursdays, the center is open to 11-17-year-olds, and Fridays 18-24. All the other days are for ages 14-24.
Our trans group meets at the center from 2:00-4:00pm on the 2nd and 4th Sunday of each month It is for youth ages 14-24 and also has a parents group that meets at the same time separately.
We have satellite locations in Mesa, Glendale, Queen Creek, Scottsdale, Flagstaff, and Prescott that meet weekly. We have a small (only 10) transitional housing program that is for 18-24-year-olds.
We also have a staff member who is our trafficking/homeless specialist, Sarah Kent.
Q: What was the inspiration behind creating One-N-Ten?
A: For LGBTQ youth to see that they could make it to adulthood and that they didn’t have to be the stereotypes that they saw in the media. You didn’t have to be a hairdresser or interior designer just because you were a gay man. We were there to show that you could be happy and have a good life, which was something that just wasn’t portrayed when it came to LGBT folks.
Q: Tell us about your primary initiatives over the next twelve months.
A: Personally, I hope to see an emergency shelter/house for youth who are newly homeless.
We give workshops whenever asked because we can reach far more LGBTQ youth than the medical personnel, counselors, teachers, etc. giving the presentations. We served 918 youth last year in our programs!!
Q: If someone is wanting to get involved, how should they go about doing so? Are you looking for volunteers?
A: We do get a lot of volunteers, but if someone wants to get involved they can email email@example.com
Q: How do you think we, as a community and as a country, can better serve our LGBTQ communities?
A: We need to provide more emergency housing for youth when they first become homeless. The longer they are on the street the more likely they are to be raped, beaten, trafficked etc., which leads to drug addiction and PTSD. Then it is much harder to get those youth back into the workforce, housing, etc.
Although LGBTQ youth should only represent 8 percent of the homeless youth here in the valley, they represent around 45 percent. So something is definitely wrong.
Source: Gina Read, Program Manager of One-N-Ten. For more information about One-N-Ten, please visit: http://onenten.org/