LR non-profit is closing its doors after 28 years


After helping thousands of Arkansans, New Futures for Youth, a non-profit organization, is closing its doors after 28 years.

The organization ended its contracts with the City of Little Rock June 30, and at the end of this month will officially close its doors.

"We've had kind of a downward turn over the last three to four years and just the ability to find the right kind of contracts that fit the work that we're doing," said New Futures for Youth Executive Director, Mark Perry.

With a reported figure of just around $94,000 in assets for 2015, taking a steep dip after around $202,000 was reported in 2014, Perry tells KATV they just couldn't afford to operate any longer. Perry also cites thousands of dollars worth of grants coming from the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation ending this year.

"You know, those are young people that often have faced some of the greatest challenges to just a successful pathway from childhood to positive adult hood, New Futures has always focused on trying to make sure that those young people kind of the core set of opportunities they need to make that trek successfully," added Perry.

During their best year, Perry said their overall budget was a little more than $1 million, although at that time they had many more federal contracts and grants that came with the funding. At their lowest point marking this year's budget was just at just around $400,000.

Little Rock's Department of Community Programs Director, Dana Dossett released this statement to KATV:

When you work with someone that long, of course New Futures will definitely be missed from the overall work of the Department of Community Programs. However, there would have been much more of an impact had this happened a few years ago.
It's no secret that a lot of the foundation of the Community Programs Department somewhat grew out of the work New Futures was doing in the City, as they were the experts in youth programming and working with "at-risk" youth. They also greatly assisted with program design, particularly our Youth Intervention Programs (YIP), as well as with RFQ/RFP development, grant-writing, program quality and accountability, and technical assistance and support to help our funded programs build capacity.
New Futures also provided the majority of the demographic information used by the Department regarding the state of children, youth, and their families; how youth are performing in schools; poverty levels, etc. - they pull this information from the U.S. Census. We do have other avenues to receive this information.
With the adoption of the Master Plan for Children, Youth and Families, this announcement actually doesn't change a thing. Since all PIT-funded contracts - including New Futures - are set to expire on December 31, 2016, we won't reach out to another organization at this time. Instead, we will continue with plans to release an appropriate RFQ or RFP for the services we need going forward. New Futures would have just been like any other organization who would have had to compete along with anyone else who would have applied for a contract for services.
I am not aware of another agency that currently exists in Little Rock that can provide the complete scope of services that New Futures provided in one comprehensive agency. That was definitely a major benefit they provided.
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