Businesses help Naperville youth agency keep counseling office open
Sometimes, location, location, location is everything.
Other times, it's just another line item in a crunched budget.
That was the dilemma facing 360 Youth Services when it came to its counseling office on Brookdale Road in Naperville. The location was ideal, but with the continued lack of support from the state, rent payments were beginning to be too much.
Katy Leclair, CEO, said Friday the state is roughly $200,000 behind in payments to the nonprofit agency that provides housing, counseling and crisis support for young people in need. That meant something had to give.
It turned out that something was three Naperville businesses that contributed to help 360 move into a new counseling office this week.
"We had to look at controlling expenses as much as we could in support of maintaining our services in Naperville," said Leclair, who became CEO in October when hopes for approval of a state budget still were high. "As we started to talk to people about it, community partners really stepped forward."
DynaCom Management provided the new office at 1548 Bond St., Suite 114 -- roughly half the size of the old one -- at a reduced rent.
"We couldn't stand by to just watch essential services being cut off by the state to the youth of Naperville," said Mari Rodriguez, DynaCom's operations manager. "The best way that we could help is by offering them what we know best, which is real estate."
Prager Moving and Storage loaded up the counseling office's files and furniture on Wednesday, so by Thursday, the agency's dozen or so therapists could begin seeing clients in the new space. And WEBIT Services connected the new office with Internet and IT support.
With a smaller office of about 1,500 square feet, 360 loses a community room, a conference room and a kitchen. But Margot Smith, a clinical therapist, said team members are adjusting their hours and sharing rooms to make sure they still provide enough sessions to assist roughly 125 youths and their families each month with issues such as anxiety, depression and family discord.
"The goal is that we're going to serve as many kids as we did at the old space," Smith said.
State funding provides roughly 9 percent of 360 Youth Services' $2.8 million budget, Leclair said. The state money funnels into counseling and housing, and the lack of it puts at risk weekly therapy sessions for 125 kids and housing for four young people who otherwise would be homeless.
360 hasn't cut any of its services yet, but Leclair said it's an ongoing challenge to keep programs running.
She said the agency plans to remain in the new counseling space for at least three years.
Other 360 facilities include its administrative office on Oswego Road, apartments on Jefferson Street in Naperville, a group home for boys in Lisle and apartments for young women on Maple Avenue in Lisle.