Funding Crisis

Jul 15, 2014   //   by admin   //   Uncategorized  //  No Comments

5th on 5th Youth Services, the well-known “go-to” place for resume help, job training, skill development and support for young people, could soon be gone if a temporary funding crisis is not averted.

Volunteers and staff from the 20-year-old agency — which conservative estimates suggest has helped more than 100,000 people since its founding in 1994 — will be approaching Lethbridge City Council on Monday, July 21 for a funding request to bridge the gap between the end of some programs and the beginning of others.

The organization has never asked for city support.

The funding request on the table at the July 21 meeting is for $49,966. This would allow the group to fulfill current contracts worth almost $500,000 and stabilize the organization’s ability to operate until January, 2015, after which time additional funding and business opportunities are identified to be available.

Currently 5th on 5th staff manage more than 15,000 visits each year. Approximately 8,000 people are enrolled in formal programs.

The per-person cost for 5th on 5th to be able to assist an individual is approximately $30 per year.

More than half of 5th on 5th’s funding comes from government employment contracts. The balance is made up of rental income (they own their building), community fundraising and grants. A reserve fund that topped up their operating money was exhausted by a round of cuts to job programs each year beginning in 2011. Additional funding sources have been pursued through contacts at federal, provincial and private organizations.

Without additional support, the organization will essentially close, putting more than 10 people out of work and cutting off an important career placement resource for students from Lethbridge College, the University of Lethbridge and the University of Calgary. A similar organization in Medicine Hat has closed, while a Red Deer based group is operating on limited services. A Calgary organization operates with support from the City of Calgary and the province.

“With the changes to the Temporary Foreign Worker program, our services are even more critical to help young people get into the workforce or change their path to gain education and training within the workforce. Our services also apply to businesses looking for workers as well,” said Lethbridge Youth Foundation President Jeff Meadows.

“Typically, youth unemployment is about three times the general unemployment rate, which was 4.7 per cent in June 2014.  5th on 5th is the only agency in the city focusing on youth employment, and works with other agencies to ensure they are not offering duplicate services.”

Meadows said it is less expensive to fund prevention than to pay for the consequences of not providing youth with the tools they need to be successful.

“5th on 5th holds a unique position in the community among the more than 20 different agencies we work with as partners. It is a position we believe is worth investing in as a pre-emptive strike against a host of other challenges some underemployed young people face, such as criminal activity, homelessness, and dependence on long-term government support. Previous clients are now tax-paying homeowners and business owners. Previous clients have told us we saved their lives.”

5th on 5th staff are asking former clients to get in touch and show their support by advocating for the organization, attending the July 21 meeting and sharing stories about how the organization helped them.

(Click to enlarge images below)

Status Report 1

Status Report 2

Status Report 3

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Status Report 6

 

 

 

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