Bea Arthur’s LGBT Homeless Shelter for Youth to Open Early 2017 | OUTVisions for LGBT Professionals

Bea Arthur’s LGBT Homeless Shelter for Youth to Open Early 2017

providing a safe place for today's kids

Bea Arthur’s LGBT Homeless Shelter for Youth to Open Early 2017
Jen Thyret

The Ali Forney Center has partnered with the Cooper Square Committee to convert an existing building at 222 E. 13th Street in Manhattan into a shelter for the homeless LGBT youth of NYC. This shelter is to be named The Bea Arthur Residence.

Slated to open in February 2017, The Bea Arthur Residence in East Village will be offering 18 beds as well as on-site counselling and case management services. The residence is being named after the beloved actress Bea Arthur, who made the new shelter possible when she bequeathed $300,000 to the Ali Forney Center at the time of her passing in 2009.

keeping lgbt youth safe

According to the Ali Forney Center, whose mission is to protect LGBTQ youth from the harms of homelessness and provide them with the tools they need to live on their own, "The 18 bed residence will house AFC's transitional living program which in addition to offering homeless LGBT youth a safe and affirming home also offers a host of comprehensive services aimed at empowering youth to become independent."

The shelter, which was originally scheduled to open this summer, ran into a few hold ups after breaking ground in July 2015. Being gutted and renovated by Builders R Us Construction Corp; construction on the long derelict building chosen to house the shelter was delayed right from the start by several preexisting Department of Building violations that needed to be resolved.

Now that all of the construction delays and violations have been taken care of, Steve Herrick of the Cooper Square Committee has said that “It’s really accelerating. The building is about 40 percent complete right now.”

bea's continuing support of the lgbt community

Bea Arthur, who many remember as the strong, smart, and sarcastic Dorothy on the Golden Girls from 1985-1992, had a longtime history of supporting the LGBTQ community before she passed away in 2009.

In 2005, she put on a one women benefit performance to raise funds for the AFC.

Around the time of her benefit performance in 2005, Bea Arthur told a reporter at Next magazine that she wanted to do the benefit show because, "These kids at the Ali Forney Center are literally dumped by their families because of the fact that they are lesbian, gay or transgender — this organization really is saving lives."

A true champion for the underdog, the beloved actress was as strong and outspoken as the characters she portrayed on television. Well known for supporting the LGBTQ community, equal rights for women, and animal welfare; her amazing legacy of helping others will continue to grow for many more years to come with the opening of this new LGBT homeless shelter in February 2017.

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AuthorJen Thyret

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