June Nonprofit Spotlight

The Attic Youth Center

In honor of Pride Month, we have selected The Attic Youth Center for June’s Nonprofit Spotlight!

Who They Are:

The Attic Youth Center is Philadelphia’s only organization exclusively dedicated to LGBTQ youth and has served over 20,000 individuals in nearly 30 years of existence. Their mission is to create opportunities for youth to develop into healthy, independent, civic-minded adults within a safe, supportive community and to promote the acceptance of LGBTQ youth in society. The Attic strives to have a positive impact on all aspects of youth’s lives; to facilitate growth, empowerment, and resiliency; and to help youth find their voice. Through programming, The Attic builds community, promotes knowledge, life skills, and leadership, and increases youth access to essential resources.

The Attic provides a wide-range of life-saving programs and services designed to provide youth with the support and skills needed to transition into independent adulthood. The Attic’s Life Skills Center provides academic enrichment, workforce and leadership development, case management, and housing support for youth experiencing homelessness or housing instability. Individual, family, couples, and group therapy are available through its Counseling Department. The Attic’s Bryson Institute seeks to improve the climate and support systems for LGBTQ youth by providing educational programs, outreach, and consultation services to schools, social service agencies, faith communities, families, and neighborhoods. Additional supportive services are also available, including access to food, personal hygiene products, technology, and physical space where youth are free to be themselves.

What kind of support does The Attic need the most right now?

It is with great joy and excitement that The Attic has begun a phased reopening plan, welcoming youth back to its vibrant, supportive community, following more than a year of providing mostly virtual programming. The support most needed during this critical time is general operating donations, as they support in-person programming that helps youth address their most pressing needs. For instance, general operating donations would help The Attic prepare to once again provide youth with daily hot meals on-site, a crucial service as the majority of Attic youth are of limited financial means and a free hot meal – particularly in the company of friends – makes a significant, positive impact on their lives. General operating donations also support programming ideas, activities, and staff. This support is essential as staff work to reengage youth, connect them to The Attic’s programs and services, and create innovative programming around emerging youth needs, due to the impact of Covid-19.

What is one thing you wish people knew about The Attic that they may not?

That The Attic has been hosting events in celebration of Pride month since 1993, when it first started bringing youth to the Philadelphia Pride parade! Also, since 1995, The Attic has had the honor of selecting two youth to serve as grand marshals in the parade. The Attic youth have always enjoyed being one of the first parade groups, marching united in The Attic T-shirts. Following the parade, The Attic youth participate in the performance at Penn’s Landing and have won performance prizes almost every year. With this long history of celebrating Pride during the parade, its staff and youth were deeply saddened last year when the parade was cancelled as a result of the pandemic . They greatly look forward to being able to once again enjoy the parade festivities!

What is the most unique donation The Attic has received?

In 2000, The Attic received an anonymous donation that allowed them to become the comprehensive, nationally recognized agency that they are today – the donation of their four-story building in Center City Philadelphia! Following extensive renovations and staff’s cultivation of a safe, supportive environment, the building was ultimately transformed into the empowering oasis it is today.

For more information, feel free to visit their website: atticyouthcenter.org.