First Licensed LGBT Adoption Agency in U.S. Declares Bankruptcy

glass-youth-are-unitedThe Global Financial Apocalypse is starting to take its toll on gay and lesbian non-profits. Yesterday, the board of directors of L.A.’s Gay and Lesbian Adolescent Social Services (GLASS) voted 7-0 to declare bankruptcy. The service provides group homes for approximately 40 LGBT teens as well as transitional living for 25 more. Most have suffered from abuse and neglect. Staffers at GLASS are furious and are planning to go to the courts to keep the GLASS’ doors open.

Pam’s House Blend reports:

“This is a world-class disaster,” DeCrescenzo told me by phone, noting that GLASS just became the first licensed LGBT adoption agency in the country. Their primary program is providing group homes for 40 LGBT 15-17 year olds, and transitional living for 25 teens between 17-19.

“Where are those kids going to go? The county will tell you they’ll place them somewhere. But you tell me – who wants or who knows how to work with trans kids? My guess is that the kids will run away and we’ll see them on the streets.”

DeCrescenzo says she believes the board filed for Chapter 7 out of fear of their own personal liability because the agency was behind in paying Worker’s Comp and with the IRS. But she says an LA County contract check was expected to cover the gap and she could work out a payment plan with the IRS.

Additionally, the reorganization plan would change the group home structure from a “family style” of six beds with two fulltime staff to 12-bed congregate living – hardly ideal but “better than going under.”

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  • Sebbe

    Sad and serves as a reminder to funnel our donations to lgbt organizations.

  • Qjersey

    Yes Sebbe, donate and dontate to those organizations that serve the most underserved in our communities.

    Here in NJ, the annual gala for the organization that has led the fight for marriage equality (Garden State Equality) is coming up with “over 800 tickets sold, twice as many as last year” according to their emails. BTW is 200 bucks a ticket.

    But other trying to get the community to donate to LGBT organzations that provide services or actual programming is like trying to get blood from a stone.

    Maybe when marriage equality comes to NJ we can get people to dontate that 200 bucks to a deserving LGBT service organization (but I doubt it).

  • Dylan

    When are you going to update the site letting the public know that all of your employees swindled your money and now the agency is closing. No longer to provide for juveniles who cant prove for themselves, you’ve failed! All of the kids did not get the gift cards, vouchers, shoes and all the free stuff that were given because the employees took it for themselves. Many of your employees got paid for hours that they did not work. Now I guess you’re going to have a pity party. Such a shame and waste of time and MONEY. You complained about your Amex card to LA Times. I worked with the Agency and not once did I hear anything about you using your card to shelter homeless kids in hotel/motel for a night or two. Yet, you rolled around in your Lexus and continued to ask for a hand out. All of those company cars, van shopping sprees. I know of few houses that have usable products, name brand clothes and furniture that hid in the garages only made available to the group home staff that took the items. I think instead of focusing the attention on the group homes and the children’s welfare the focus was geared to, “Who’s sleeping with who” and “I wonder If he’s gay, I wonder if she’s gay.”


    I worked for GLASS for many years, rising from a child care worker to house manager and finally to program director. And I can tell you that the loss of this agency is a travesty. Terry developed and ran this program better than any other residential agency out there, as is evidenced by the 25 years GLASS persevered (against sometimes insurmountable odds) and the thousands of GLBT youth GLASS serviced. Terry used to always tell us, “We have to run a better program than everyone else, because we have more scrutiny than anyone else.” Our clinical programs were top-notch, our facilities were clean and well-maintained, and we gave those kids (who could be very difficult to work with, and sometimes were supremely ungrateful) a real home. GLASS and Terry DeCrescenzo changed thousands of GLBT lives for the better – my own included. DYLAN, if you knew about stealing then it was YOUR DUTY to report it. Shame on you for trying to drag Terry, her fine employees, and the children in her care through your own disgruntled mud.

  • Terry DeCrescenzo

    I really do know how pointless it is to get into trying to deny “shadow accusations” from a presumably disgruntled former employee. My focus is on the kids, as everyone else’s ought to be, not on what kind of car I drive (which I pay for, not GLASS). As for the AMEX bill, anyone who wants to see the $30,000 per month in motel bills is welcome to copies. No one will see a lunch or a dinner or any other personal or business expense for me on the AMEX card. We have eleven vans used to transport the kids, all required by licensing regulations, so what’s the problem? The group home garages are used to store donated furniture, and if “staff took it”, you should have reported them, but even if that’s true, how does a garage full of pilfered furniture explain away a million dollar deficit last year? PLEASE. What matters is that a VITAL resource for LGBTQ kids has been lost. That is all that matters. not some silly preoccupation with the sexual politics of employee flirtations that Dylan, or whatever your real name is, seems so interested in.

  • Donny Robinson

    It saddens me to see GLASS go. I am a former employee myself and had my ups and downs with the agency. However, I must say that Terry D has much love and compassion for the children housed within GLASS. I do know personally the those residents were her FIRST priority. I can honestly say that I am proud that I had the opportunity to be employed with GLASS.

  • Terry DeCrescenzo

    Thank you Donny for the kind words. Yes, we’ve had our ups and downs within GLASS, but I’m pleased to see that you (and so many others who have worked there over the past twenty-five years) are clear about what was my – and most of the employees’ – FIRST priority. That’s where my sorrow lies. Will they be okay? And thank you for the role you played in insuring their well-being.

  • Glenda

    Dylan –

    Have you heard that Terry is going back into private practice, seeing clients for therapy? Do you think that’s a good idea and that her heart is in the right place, but she just couldn’t control her staff?

  • Terry DeCrescenzo

    Honestly, Glenda, I ran that agency for TWENTY-FIVE years. Now it is gone, I’m so sad to say. What difference could it POSSIBLY make what I do next to earn a living, i.e., private psychotherapy practice? Who cares? And what does it matter that my “heart is in the right place” ? As I said in an earlier posting, I cannot – and won’t try to – fight off “shadow accusations” about what happened at GLASS. All I can do is to appreciate how many WONDERFUL staff there were at GLASS who worked so very hard to help homeles, abandoned, abused and neglected LGBT youth for so many years. Were there a few “out of control staff”? Did they cause GLASS to go under? I will have to leave that to the historians to sort out. I know that I am VERY proud of what I and so many dedicated GLASS staff did to change the world. Without us, the County would have continued to ignore the needs of these kids. Because of us, the County has to serve LGBT youth.

  • Randy

    @Dylan:. What? I worked there and never got any of these things you are talking of. And I did get alot of support From Terry D when some disgusting kid said crap about me. I have no idea where all these so called hidden products are that you are talking of, unless you are talking of the donated good that were in some of the garages, like the boxes at Benton. and trust, those were not all these Fab clothes and shoes you are talking of.

  • randy

    @Terry DeCrescenzo: I worked at GLASS and All I know is this. If it were not for Terry D standing up for me when some kid accused me of wrong doing, i’d not be here typing this. Nor would I have been able to go on beyond my years of working for GLASS and get my nursing license, because without the suppot of Terry D and others, I’d probably be in the streets. I’ll always be grateful for the support I got from most of my fellow staff. I am compleatly disgusted that some ex- staff or kid would even dare to critize this place. I wasn’t totally happy with it, God (and the staff I worked with) know that. They didnt call me disgrunteled for nothing, but I’d be damned if i’d want it closed down and accuse staff of stealing.

  • kokoloco

    I am a former resident and staff, G.L.A.S.S pretty much saved my life. I suffered from depression from all the bulling and neglect from several other agency’s… And when I found glass it was the best thing that ever happened to me. I never whiteness any of this negativity written about the agency as a staff or resident. NOW none is perfect! People make mistakes and there are always bad apples in trees, but too sit there and trash the whole agency is exactly what certain people want, to trash the “gay group home” honestly found lots of inspirations people who guided me through my teen years and into adult hood, unlike all the other group homes I had been to that resulted in neglect, mistreatment, abuse etc. I was the first pregnant resident of glass and they still went to bat in helping me become a young mother. They didn’t have to go that extra mile but they did because they actually care.

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