In October of 2023, Youth On Their Own held a ribbon-cutting ceremony to officially open the organization’s new headquarters at 2525 N. Country Club Road in Tucson.
The Catalina Rotary Club of Tucson helped make the event possible by contributing $50,000 towards the $768,000 gift made by Angel Charity to provide seed funding for the purchase and renovation of two adjacent buildings. Catalina Rotary also pledged another $25,000 directly to YOTO, for a total commitment of $75,000. In addition, Catalina Club members contributed “sweat equity,” by pitching in to help clean and beautify the grounds.
YOTO’s new location provides a 54% space increase over YOTO’s former facilities and allows for expanded student services in the areas of academic counseling, health care services, and alumni services. In addition, the new headquarters offers new student showers and laundry facilities. Central to student services is an expanded “Mini Mall” where students can pick up free groceries, school supplies, and other basic health and hygiene items.
An additional component of the new YOTO student services center is the Catalina Rotary Distribution Center. Donors now have a smooth “drive-thru” experience when they make contributions to the Mini Mall. Contributions inventoried in the Distribution Center are then stocked in the Mini Mall or packaged for weekly deliveries to students at their schools via YOTO’s team of Volunteers known as the “Caring Couriers.”
“The Catalina Rotary Club of Tucson is proud to help make this wonderful new YOTO home a reality,” said Michael Troughton, club president. “Partnering with established organizations like YOTO and Angel Charity allows us to leverage our club’s fund-raising efforts into more visible and impactful service projects, and provide great opportunities to fulfill our club’s mission of Changing the Lives of Young People in Need.’’
“We’re so grateful for the Catalina Rotary Club’s partnership as we take this exciting step into YOTO’s future,” noted Bethany Neumann, Director of Development & Communications at YOTO. “The commitment and support the club and its members have for YOTO youth embodies the true meaning of service and shows youth that our community cares about them!”
YOTO supports the high school graduation and continued success of youth experiencing homelessness. In 2022, the graduation rate for YOTO youth was 86%, a number significantly higher than Pima County’s overall graduation rate. Over 1500 students – all experiencing housing instability through no fault of their own – were part of the YOTO family during that time.