A new homeless shelter for LGBTQ youth will have us all saying, “Thank you for being a friend.”
According to HuffPost, “The Ali Forney Center, which is the largest agency dedicated to homeless LGBTQ youth in the country, opened the doors of its new Bea Arthur Residence with a holiday-themed fête on Nov. 30.”
Named in honor of the actress who played the snarky and smart Dorothy Zbornak on the hit TV series, “The Golden Girls,” HuffPost reports that Arthur was a major supporter of the Forney Center, hosting a one-woman show in 2005 that raised over $40,000 and even leaving $300,000 to the center when she died.
As for the new Bea Arthur Residence, HuffPost says it houses 18 beds and will provide shelter for “participants in the center’s two-year transitional living program, designed to prepare homeless LGBTQ young people for successfully living alone.”
Executive director for the Ali Forney Center Carl Siciliano called the new residence’s opening a “momentous occasion,” according to HuffPost, as it “marks an important shift in the way that we are able to house and care for young people who have been discarded by their families simply because of who they are.”
New York Mayor Bill DeBlasio even named Nov. 30 “Bea Arthur Day” to honor the star who helped make the expansion possible.
A pal, indeed!
One Golden Girl‘s legacy is far surpassing her time on the beloved television show.
According to the Huffington Post, the Bea Arthur Residence — a homeless shelter for LGBTQ youth that is named after the actress who played Dorothy Zbornak on The Golden Girls — is set to open in 2017.
“The shelter was made possible by a generous donation from Arthur’s estate, which gave $300,000 to the Ali Forney Center after the actress died in 2009,” the Huffington Post reports. “The Ali Forney Center, the group behind the shelter, is dedicated to serving homeless LGBTQ youth in New York City.”
Upon its February 2017 completion, the shelter will house 18 beds and will open its doors to serve LGBTQ youth shortly thereafter, the Huffington Post says NewNowNext reported.
About 40 percent of youth served by homeless shelters in the United States identify as LGBTQ, reports the Huffington Post, with the main reason for their displacement being “running away from home or being forced out of their homes after being rejected by their families because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.”
Before her death, CNN says Arthur spoke to Next Magazine in 2005 and explained why the efforts of organizations like the Ali Forney Center are essential to LGBTQ kids’ survival and well-being.
“These kids at the Ali Forney Center are literally dumped by their families because of the fact that they are lesbian, gay or transgender,” she said, according to the Huffington Post. “This organization really is saving lives.”
And Arthur’s posthumous generosity will continue to save lives.