Are youth from throughout Manistee County be included?
The Armory Youth Project serves all county youth and beyond, 6th – 12th grade students.
How is the center be sustained financially?
We will be operating on an annual budget of around $180K per year. We currently are being supported by very generous donors, not through local taxes. We aim to maintain a sustainable location through the support of donors as well as multiple grants for our programming. If you wish to support this cause, or help organize a fundraiser to support us, it would help us a great deal continue to serve teens.
How is the project governed?
The Armory Youth Project is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation and is governed by its own Board of Directors along with an Executive Director.
Is Armory Youth Project open year round?
While the hours of operation vary with the school calendar, our facility is open year round.
How does a small paid staff adequately supervise a large facility and groups of kids?
Well-trained and screened volunteers augment AYP staff. While some simply monitor for safe and
appropriate behavior, others have roles related to tutoring, mentoring, snack bar duty, specific recreational skill building
programs, etc. We are always looking for authentic adults from all backgrounds! We work hard to ensure our volunteers are placed doing what they love within time free in their schedules! Whether you are up for playing some pick up dodgeball, helping read over homework, or help behind the scenes with food prep or administration, there is a place for everyone to join our team. Go to our volunteer page for more details.
Why isn’t this a ‘whole family’ facility, like a ‘Y’?
There are facilities in Manistee which provide elements of a typical YMCA. These include the Paine Pool, exercise/
health clubs, tennis courts, extensive programming for seniors, and a variety of parks and beaches. In the feasibility study,
community leaders cited the greatest county deficit as the lack of a facility devoted to the care and support of youth. From
the spring 2015 survey of Manistee County teens, mentoring, youth leadership opportunities, safe places for youth to hang
out and sporting and recreational activities are among the most requested offerings.
To what extent does Christian orientation influence the programming and events conducted at the project?
All 6th – 12th grade youth are welcomed without discrimination. Committed staff and trained
volunteers demonstrate love and respect for these students in all contexts no matter their beliefs or understanding of
We are a Christian nonprofit, what does that mean?
We believe that real faith is displayed through relevant actions. We want to do more than talk, we want to provide empowering programs and events that serve youth. Our motivation is not to force a belief system but rather serve our community out of the love we believe in.
All students are both welcomed and wanted in this place. Our goal is to provide a safe place regardless of belief, background, orientation or whether you like the Detroit Tigers. We recognize in this day and age there are many harmful comments made regarding different beliefs, political views and so on. We strive to ensure that anyone who comes in our doors will be loved for who they are, whatever their background. Our motivation is to build meaningful relationships that empower and promote the wellbeing of all students. Our purpose is not to answer questions related to politics or doctrine, but provide support for all students and resources for them to answer these questions in more appropriate settings.
Any other questions, comments and questions
Contact our Office Manager, Erin Pontiac (231.299.1205)