KANSAS CITY, Mo. — An LGBTQ+ organization helping protect youth against violence is closing its doors.
The Kansas City Anti-Violence Project announced Monday night its funding has run out. Local advocates said the service they provided to the community was vital.
Supporters say KCAVP did a lot for the community. One of them being a 24-hour help line. Advocates say it was sometimes more of a lifeline.
Emily Ferrarini, the interim center coordinator for the Kansas City Center for Inclusion, says the help line set them apart.
“They are not safe or comfortable calling the police for a lot of different reasons and KCAVP was able to fill that gap,” Ferrarini said. “KCAVP has historically been able to meet people where they’re at. Doing that kind of outreach that we don’t have the resources to do is completely life-changing.”
The organization’s board posted a statement on their Facebook page saying unforeseen funding complications became too much.
“It is with the deepest sadness that the Kansas City Anti-Violence Project must announce the closure of the organization effective immediately, including the 24-hour hotline. KCAVP’s mission has always been to serve LGBTQIA+ individuals who have experienced trauma, violence, abuse, harassment, or neglect. We’ve been an organization since 2002, and truly believe we have done our best to serve the community with the love, support, respect, and dignity it deserves. We love our community. We love Kansas City.”
“We want to be as transparent as possible for the sake of best practices. Our closure comes from unforeseen complications with funding; our relentless Staff and Board of Directors have done the best they can to this point. Please know we don’t take this decision lightly.”
“As we begin to wrap up, we will be compiling a list of resources to disseminate and finalizing a new home for Passages. Please be on the lookout for further updates, as we will share them as we complete these tasks.”
“It has truly been an honor to serve the LGBTQIA+ community of Kansas City. We love you all. Thank you for supporting KCAVP all these years.”
Blaine Proctor is the CEO of Save, Inc. They run Pride Haven, an emergency shelter for queer transition-aged youth. He says KCAVP’s help line was vital.
“There’s a lot of kids who are on the streets right now,” Proctor said. “There are studies that show if we can’t reach a young person within 48 hours of them hitting the street the chances of them experiencing violence or crime increases by eighty percent. That eighty percent increases even more if you are LGBTQIA.”
With the loss of KCAVP both Proctor and Ferrarini say with the loss of KCAVP they hope new resources come soon.
“It’s sad. It’s created a huge hole in the community. They’ve been around a long time. They’ve helped a lot of kids,” Proctor said.
“You’re not alone. There are people who care about you, and who will fight for you, and who have resources for you, and who want to welcome you into their family,” Ferrarini said.
The Kansas City Center for Inclusion also has a helpline but it does not run 24-hours. They can help connect individuals with resources they need.