The Ali Forney Center hosted a groundbreaking event celebrating the acquisition of what will be their "Bea Arthur Residence" yesterday.
In 2012 the New York City Council and the Manhattan Borough President awarded funds for the renovation of a long vacant building owned by the New York City Department of Housing and Preservation Development. The building has now been turned over to the Ali Forney Center in partnership with Cooper Square Committee, who have begun renovations on the site. It is anticipated that the building will begin to provide housing by the end of 2016.
Bea Arthur gave one of her final public performances as a benefit for the Ali Forney Center in 2005. She was very upset to learn that hundreds of thousands of LGBT teens were rejected by their families, and driven to homelessness. She said that she would do anything in her power to help these teens. When she died in 2009 the Ali Forney Center learned that she had bequeathed $300,000 to us in her will. At that time, Carl Siciliano, the Executive Director of the Ali Forney Center, pledged that the first building they owned would be named in her memory.
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.
How You Can Help
AFC currently has 10 housing sites that are funded in part by city, state and federal agencies, however these agencies do not cover 100% of the costs associated with operating our housing programs, as a result AFC's relies on donations from individuals, foundations and corporations to help us cover the unmet costs.
AFC is seeking to build a Housing Reserve Fund that will allow us to raise funds to cover unmet costs while also providing funds to purchase buildings in New York City that will enable us to operate self-sustaining programs.
Help the Ali Forney Center by making a donation in honor of Bea and her commitment to our youth.