The Trevor Project, the country’s largest youth crisis nonprofit organization that works with LGBTQ+ young people, has laid off a significant number of employees. It’s just one of several challenges facing the company in recent months.
“Today, The Trevor Project completed a reduction in force that impacted 12% of our staff,” it tweeted Wednesday. “This decision was not made lightly. It was a last resort measure taken to ensure the sustainability of our life-saving services.”
According to a blog post published on The Trevor Project’s website in late June, unnamed leadership explained why many staff members would be laid off.
“After several years of fast growth and commensurate financial support, we are now facing a tenuous economic climate,” the statement began. “In order for The Trevor Project to continue to operate sustainably, we will need to conduct a reduction in our workforce in the next month.”
The decision followed other cost-saving measures, such as freezing hiring and limiting non-urgent travel.
It follows concerns that the organization took on too much growth too soon, which led to the sacking of the company’s former CEO, Amit Paley.
During Paley’s tenure, the organization grew and, according to publicly available financial records, continually took in more than it spent, as reflected by the organization’s most recent audit.
According to The Trevor Project’s statement, the reduction in the workforce will not affect counseling services provided by The Trevor Project to LGBTQ+ youth.
Amid the financial woes, the organization continues to fend off far-right attacks.
In recent months, Republicans have falsely accused The Trevor Project of grooming children.
In a statement provided by a spokesperson at the time, Paley told The Advocate that his leadership had resulted in the organization growing from 50 to 500 employees. In addition, he pointed out that Trevor Project services would be launched in Mexico in the fall of 2022 as part of his global expansion.
Current counselors at The Trevor Project, who requested anonymity, complained to The Advocate that Paley’s compensation was too high.
“Those within the organization wanted Amit Paley removed because of their exuberant pay,” the person said.
The individual claimed that after his departure, crisis counselors learned information that made them feel underpaid.
“The Trevor Project does serve a vital need for the LGBTQ community, both youth and adults,” the person said. “But they do it on the backs of crisis counselors that are burnt out, underpaid, overworked, and underappreciated by the organization as a whole.”
They asked, “How can we adequately be there for our community when the organization that leads us treats us like we are doormats?”
The person continued, “Every single counselor I know believes in our work, believes in the organization’s mission, and just wants better working conditions. But we are all extremely burnt out and struggling to keep ourselves afloat.”
If you are having thoughts of suicide or are concerned that someone you know may be, resources are available to help. The 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline at 988 is for people of all ages and identities. Trans Lifeline, designed for transgender or gender-nonconforming people, can be reached at (877) 565-8860. The lifeline also provides resources to help with other crises, such as domestic violence situations. The Trevor Project Lifeline, for LGBTQ+ youth (ages 24 and younger), can be reached at (866) 488-7386. Users can also access chat services at TheTrevorProject.org/Help or text START to 678678.
Editor’s Note: A previous version of this article contained an extended quote by an anonymous source, part of which has been removed, and information has been added about the financial strength of the organization under its former CEO’s leadership.