Orlando, Fla. – Thursday, January 23, 2014 – The Zebra Coalition® received $35,000 through the Orlando Magic Youth Fund, a McCormick Foundation Fund, to increase youth bed capacity during a surprise reception held yesterday. This season, the Orlando Magic celebrates 25 years of Magic basketball both on and off the court and OMYF proudly joined in the celebration by awarding grants to 25 nonprofit organizations.
During the past 24 years, more than $18.5 million has been distributed to local nonprofit organizations through the Orlando Magic Youth Foundation and the Orlando Magic Youth Fund, a McCormick Foundation Fund (OMYF-MFF). The McCormick Foundation matches all donations to the Fund at fifty cents on the dollar.
The OMYF is committed to helping children in Central Florida realize their full potential, especially those most at-risk, by supporting nonprofit organizations offering youth-based programs in the areas of education, housing, and health and wellness programs that promote healthy living practices for children and families in low income communities.
In 2010, the Zebra Coalition® began providing housing and support services for homeless lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LBGT) youth in Central Florida. The Zebra Coalition® was formed in response to a need recognized by the Central Florida community for a comprehensive continuum of seamless services for the underserved LGBT population. It is a unique organization led by the Center for Drug Free Living and comprised of nearly two dozen service groups, government agencies, social service providers, churches, corporations, middle schools, high schools, and colleges and universities. It is the only organization in Central Florida that can provide the continuum of services to the LGBT community, ages 13 to 24.
The Zebra Coalition® will use its funding to primarily increase youth bed capacity and sustain and enhance its essential need service components. This includes the Coalition’s ability to provide food, clothing, laundry, and shower facilities. Currently, the average cost to house one youth for one month of service averages $500. The Coalition utilizes community partnerships with several established homeless and low income housing facilities to provide youth with safe and secure housing.
“We are so grateful for this support from OMYF and MFF because the $35,000 will allow us to easily add shelter beds for our community’s LGBT youth,” said Dexter Foxworth, director of the Zebra Coalition®. “Last year we housed 34 youth and provided outreach services to more than 2,000 additional youth.”