For 3 years now, The Bronx LGBTQ community has been without a place to call home but now that’s all set to change as BOOM!Health is partnering up with Councilman Ritchie Torres in creating such a new space for Bronxites.
The initiative couldn’t come at a better time as BOOM!Health just opened their new headquarters in Melrose which was filled with members from the LGBTQ community and this past Friday, an event was held where hundreds of LGBTQ youth were present, enjoying a health fair, fashion show, and a host of other activities.
And back in June, BAAD (Bronx Academy of Arts and Dance) kicked of Pride Month at the Old Bronx Borough Courthouse with ‘Bronx Comin’ Out to The Courthouse Carnival’ during No Longer Empty’s exhibition ‘When You Cut Into The Present The Future Leaks Out’ where hundreds came out to celebrate.
These are examples and a clear indication that there is a need for such a center for the community as we have discussed before. A need for a safe space for everyone within the LGBTQ community within the safety and comfort of their own home borough.
BOOM!Health is launching the visioning of this project by collecting information and data from the community on what we would like the space to provide (please take the survey here)
According to BOOM!Health, “The Bronx currently does not have a brick and mortar Center for the LGBTQ community. We feel that establishing physical space is essential to addressing the economic and personal development needs of the LGBTQ community in the Bronx.”
The Bronx lost the Bronx Community Pride Center after Lisa Winters, former executive director of the organization was found guilty of embezzling over $100,000 which eventually led to the center’s decline. Unable to recover from the financial loses and stigma associated with the scandal, Bronx Community Pride Center shut its doors in the summer of 2012.
Our community has been clamoring for a new organization to take its place but so far not a single organization has been successful at such an attempt and now we have the momentum, political power, as well as the experience BOOM!Health brings to the table to make such a center a reality once again.
One of the issues surrounding any such organization is how will it thrive and sustain itself and BOOM!Health says, “This Bronx LGBTQ Center will be sustained through a unique model that integrates social enterprise businesses and traditional donor engagement. The profits generated by the social enterprises housed in the Center will be reinvested back into the Center’s programs, services, and operations.”
The actual location of the future LGBTQ Center has yet to be determined but it is expected to be open as soon as 2018.
What do you think of this finally happening again in our home borough?