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|Atlanta LGBT youth organization ordered out of current space; new site not known|
|by Dyana Bagby|
|May 31, 2012 17:40|
YouthPride's landlord Inman Park United Methodist Church will change the locks of the LGBT youth facility at 1017 Edgewood Ave. on Friday, June 1, and soon move in a new tenant, but where YouthPride will relocate remains unknown.
YouthPride was to move out of its space in Inman Park on May 31 according to a court settlement with Inman Park UMC. YouthPride had failed to pay some $50,000 in rent and fees and the church said it had no choice but to take legal action.
On the YouthPride website, an entry states: "Movie night is canceled for tonight, Thursday, May 31, 2012. YouthPride will be closed Friday, June 1, 2012, and Saturday, June 2, 2012. Will reopen Monday, June 4, 2012."
A post to the YouthPride Atlanta Facebook page also stated the organization will be closed Friday, June 1, and Saturday, June 2, and reopen Monday, June 4.
A court settlement over a dispute of nonpayment of rent between YouthPride and Inman Park UMC stated the nonprofit organization that serves lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer youth ages 13-24 would move out of its current space by 5 p.m. on May 31.
When asked this evening what the situation was with YouthPride and it moving out of the space, Pastor Matt Nelson of Inman Park UMC said, "That's a great question."
"Everything should be in order for them to be out by 5 p.m. We have a new lease and are changing the locks tomorrow morning," he said.
An attempt to talk to YouthPride Executive Director Terence McPhaul at the facility located on the church's property on May 31 at approximately 5 p.m. failed after he ordered this reporter out of the building.
"Background check. You don't have one. I have to ask you to leave," he said. When asked where YouthPride was relocating, McPhaul said he would have to respond later and that he didn't have time for a meeting. He then said movie night, held on Thursday nights, was canceled.
"Do you come to movie night? It's canceled for tonight. We're doing something else," he said as he closed the door and reached for a telephone. Several youth sat in on couches in the lobby where folded up boxes were leaned up against a wall.
Numerous attempts to reach McPhaul and board members Tracee McDaniel, Jordan Myers and Theresa Willis through phone calls and emails have gone unanswered.
Nelson of Inman Park UMC said he has spoken with McPhaul this week to ensure keys to the building are left behind.
"Terence has complied with showing the property to the new tenants and has been helpful," Nelson added. "But we have a court order and we're progressing."
Inman Park UMC sued YouthPride on Feb. 17 for some $40,000 in back rent. Court documents show the organization currently owes $54,656.19.
The counterclaim filed by YouthPride against the church claiming the church had not made repairs to the building it has been renting for the amount of $500 per month for 60 months — or $30,000 — was dismissed for being "without merit."
YouthPride was also ordered to pay $28,000 as part of the settlement and that money was paid.
FRIDAY UPDATE: Kevin Philbrick, board president of Inman Park UMC, said YouthPride missed its deadline to move out May 31 but the church allowed for a one-day extension and, he said, according to McPhaul moving trucks will be at YouthPride this afternoon.
"YouthPride made good on all their court-settlement mandated payments. Per Terence, the movers are scheduled to be on site between 11 a.m.-1 p.m. today. The deadline to move was yesterday afternoon and was missed and IPUMC has allowed them to have today to move out. Locks are being changed today as well," Philbrick said.
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