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Long-Standing LGBT
Social Service Organization Files for Bankruptcy

Long-Standing LGBT
Social Service Organization Files for Bankruptcy

Eight days after celebrating its 25th anniversary, Los Angeles's Gay and Lesbian Adolescent Social Services has filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, effectively ceasing operations immediately.

Eight days after celebrating its 25th anniversary, Los Angeles's Gay and Lesbian Adolescent Social Services has filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, effectively ceasing operations immediately.

GLASS was the nation's first long-term residential treatment program specifically for LGBT youths. The group currently operates residential group homes in Los Angeles, Long Beach, and Oakland that house 71 young people. The agency also provides transitional living space for about 25 teens aged 17-19 and secures foster homes for 50 youths.

"The staff is very upset," says Terry DeCrescenzo, GLASS's founder and executive director. "They may physically go to court and petition the court to reject the Chapter 7 and give us a Chapter 11."

An anonymous source reported that upon hearing the news of GLASS's dissolution, one of the children under their care overdosed and was rushed to the hospital. "I am not at liberty to discuss the condition of any of the minors in the program," DeCrescenzo said. "But it should certainly come as no surprise under these circumstances, as [the children] face losing the only families they've ever known."

DeCrescenzo says a Chapter 11 bankruptcy would allow GLASS to continue operating while seeking additional funds through donations or loans. GLASS's board of directors didn't believe the organization would be able to secure a loan or obtain enough donations at this time and therefore pushed for the Chapter 7, DeCrescenzo says. The group receives 90% of its funds from the cash-strapped California government and the rest from donations.

"We need two [million] to thrive," DeCrescenzo says. "One [million] to survive."

The young people in GLASS's group homes will most likely go to state-run facilities, while those in the transitional living program will lose any outside assistance they were receiving, DeCrescenzo says.

DeCrescenzo worries for the transgender youths who will no longer have the specially trained GLASS staff -- 150 people now without jobs -- at their sides.

"I don't see outside agencies having the skills, expertise, or heart to take care of these trans kids," she says. (Neal Broverman and Rhiza Dizon, Advocate.com)

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