OUTLoud North Bay is looking for stable operational funding.
Seth Compton, Executive Director and Kelsie Etches, Board Chair presented to council Tuesday night.
They highlighted the work that has been done to support all youth and celebrate all identities since opening the doors to the safe space three years ago.
They also asked the city for an investment, specifically for operational costs and a wage for Compton.
“Our focus now that we have the time and we’re trying to recover from COVID is to focus on grants and grant-writing,” says Compton. “City council seems quite excited to help us with that and point us in the right direction and get us to where we need to be.”
Compton says they’re hoping to get some city funds until they’re able to tap into large government funding opportunities.
“There are funds out there, especially for what we do. Whether it’s providing mental health services, recreational fitness and art therapy, we do it all,” he says. “The money is there, it’s just to be able to have the right people apply for these grants on our behalf and secure these grants.”
Compton says if he doesn’t have to worry about the financials he can spend more time with the kids and engage that way.
“Which is where my passion is at,” he says. “But, if I’m out 16 hours a day doing other things to make sure I have money coming in the doors it’s a little work on my end. The doors aren’t going to close, it’s just one month to another, I just hate that feeling.”
Compton felt good after the meeting and believes the current council and mayor are moving in the right direction toward inclusivity and diversity.
“I had some great conversations with some of them and we’ll see what the future holds,” he says.
Council heard that OUTLoud currently has more than 150 active members and over 1,200 kids of varying demographics have come through the doors over the past three years.