One Equal World

New Homeless Shelter for LGBTQ+ Named After Bea Arthur

Posted on: September 1, 2016

A photo of a teenage boy sitting on a bed at a homeless shelter.

Image: Shutterstock

Though Bea Arthur died in 2009, the Maude and Golden Girls star is still giving. She bequeathed $300,000 to the Ali Forney Center, which she had long supported throughout her life. The Center is dedicated to helping LGBTQ+ homeless youth in New York City, who make up about 40% of the city’s estimated 4,000 homeless teenagers.

Despite a general trend toward acceptance of the LGBTQ+ community in this country, there are still a lot of families who, upon finding out that their children are lesbian, gay, transgender, or otherwise identify within that community, cut all ties with those children. These kids are kicked out and often wind up on the street, because it’s hard to be a teenager without a home anywhere, much less in a city like New York.

But thanks to Bea Arthur, the Ali Forney Center has been able to help a lot of those kids get by. They have 12 housing sites and a 24/7 drop-in center geared toward helping homeless LGBTQ+ youth. Her gift helped the organization make it through the recession, and now they’re nearing completion on their newest youth home in the East Village, the Bea Arthur Residence. The new residence will have 18 beds and is expected to open in February of 2017.

Though 18 beds may not sound like a lot, the new residence will help to alleviate New York City’s homeless crisis, where every little bit helps. Remember, too, that New York is one of the most expensive cities in the world, and real estate there is not only difficult to come by, but expensive as well. Getting 18 beds into a building is a pretty impressive feat, and it will allow those kids to stay in the city that they already call home, while they get on their own two feet and find ways to move on with their lives.

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1 Response to "New Homeless Shelter for LGBTQ+ Named After Bea Arthur"

I had no idea there are so many homeless LGBT kids. Horrible.

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