SMYRC Funding Stabilizes, Director Resigns

From Just Out, July 2 2008

The Sexual Minority Youth Resource Center has found some stability since riding the financial roller coaster with its parent organization, Cascadia Behavioral Healthcare.

SMYRC program director Jonathan Weedman announced June 7 that the queer youth organization has secured stable funding for five years through the Schools Uniting Neighborhoods county contract.

The money partially pays for general operating costs of the center, its counseling services and its Bridge 13 training program, according to Weedman. “It’s amazing that the county was willing to award that to us, given all the instability with Cascadia,” he said.

State and county entities are helping Cascadia through a shortfall of $2 million that jeopardized services to the majority of Oregon’s mental health care recipients.

Weedman also announced his resignation from SMYRC, which will take effect July 18. He says he landed his dream job, counseling elementary school students at Catlin Gable School. Weedman, a clinician, will help build social skills among kids with mental health issues. He said the role of “queer youth consultant” may also naturally fall on him. Catlin Gable, which has an active high school Gay Straight Alliance, hosts the annual Oregon Queer Youth Conference.

“A strength for me in applying was my experience with queer youth,” said Weedman.

SMYRC has begun a national search for a new program manager.

“I’m ready to hand the reins over to someone who is fresh and ready to take on new challenges,” said Weedman, who held the program manager position at SMYRC for eight years.