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Ogden nonprofit serving at-risk youth needs to raise $500,000 to fix building

Posted at 8:49 PM, Jun 27, 2023

OGDEN, Utah — Youth Impact, an Ogden nonprofit that provides services to at-risk kids, is struggling to meet the needs of the more than 100 children they serve after a long and wet winter wreaked havoc on their building.

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“It’s not fair for these kids to fall short of being given a chance to be successful or happy because our building is falling apart,” said Cameron Portillo, a child and family advocate.

Youth Impact provides a safe place for at-risk kids from more than 30 schools. Every day, program mentors give students a ride to the Grant Avenue building, where they can study and do activities ranging from arts and crafts to sports, dance and gardening.

“We work with YCC kids. A lot of the kids [come from] single-parent households, poverty-ridden families — you know, kids that just don’t have the opportunities that they would if they had a real family structure,” said Portillo.

This past winter was very difficult on the old building, which was donated to the nonprofit about 25 years ago.

“With all the snow and rain since January, we have a flat roof, so it was just a perfect storm of collapse,” said Suzanne Miller, the executive director of Youth Impact.

In January, they had to shut down the arts and crafts area and study hall, with about $500,000 in damage to computers, tables, floors, electricity, heating and air conditioning.

“We serve 150 kids who are at risk," Miller said. "And so our whole mission is a safe place to be a kid, and when you have buildings that aren’t working to their fullest capacity, we can’t utilize our space as well as we would like. They don’t have the ability to live into their future, and that is our whole goal."

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Portillo hopes the community will help Youth Impact restore their building so these kids can have a space they can feel safe and comfortable in.

“Some of these kids have it really, really bad," he said. "Knowing that you might be that one opportunity that you could change a kid’s life means everything. This place has saved me just as much as it has some of these other kiddos."

Youth Impact is accepting donations via Venmo at @youthimpactogden. You can also make donations over the phone by calling 801-612-3001 and asking for Suzanne or Michelle, or drop them off in-person at 2305 Grant Avenue in Ogden.