As many of you have heard, the Brown School’s heating system has failed and it is no longer safe for children. As a result Newburyport Youth Services (NYS) will officially close its doors on October 22nd at that location and be forced to take a couple weeks to regroup. This move was inevitable – but leaves Newburyport Youth Services without a space to provide services to roughly 2400 individuals annually. While there are some quick decisions being made, this is an embarrassing mark on part of the City of Newburyport and our elected officials. We have known about the building’s ailing systems, among other problems with the Brown School since before the department was “temporarily” moved into the space over 6 years ago.
The Friends of Newburyport Youth Services was originally pulled together to support the financial needs of youth services in our community; from scholarships so that everyone can attend programs to additional computers and staff, the Friends have stepped up to ensure that as our community’s needs grow we can supplement what is not in the annual city budget, to which NYS also already generates over a half a million dollars in revenue to provide services, supports and programs for children and families. Beyond that, the Friends has been a strong voice in the community advocating for our youth; you saw that earlier this year as we stepped up to advocate for the purchase of land to finally find a permanent home for NYS.
Once again, we find ourselves asking the community to help us find a permanent location for NYS. This means we need to build a new youth center and/or securing a location that would meet the needs of our children. Newburyport Youth Services is more than a department in the City of Newburyport, it is a lifeline for many youth and their families.
If you would like to ensure Newburyport Youth Services re-opens in its full capacity, we urge you to join us. We cannot do this alone. Take a pledge to help NYS find a permanent home, sign up as a part of a “Commitment to Advocate.”
The Friends of NYS will also be disbursing YARD SIGNS to show your support for NYS. You can sign up for that below, as well.
Commitment to Advocate