(Cuyahoga County) - The Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender (LGBT) Community Center of Greater Cleveland is moving out of the basement of the Gordon Square Arcade to a brand-new, 15,500-square-foot state-of-the-art facility in Gordon Square.
Designed by Cleveland architect David Thal of Weber Murphy Fox, the LEED certified building is expected to be completed in late May with a community open house Friday, June 14th.
Community Center Executive Director Phyllis Harris explains, that in 2014, an anonymous donor gifted the center $1.8 million to purchase property for new construction so that the LGBTQ+ community could come together in a new, visible, modern and adaptable facility.
The individual has since donated a total of $4.9 million to construct the facility and to increase staffing and program capacity.
Harris tells Newsradio WTAM 1100, the funding will allow the center to expand its education and advocacy efforts, health services and support structure for the community, from youth through seniors.
The center’s SAGE program supports senior members of the community who frequently report a sense of isolation, with one in three living alone and one in two hiding their identity from family members.
HIV education continues to be a priority, particularly among youth - the center distributed more than 6,000 safe sex kits in 2018 - along with anti-bullying efforts and life skills development.
The center has inked a partnership with MetroHealth, which will staff an on-site clinic several days per week, and also has expanded its support for Northeast Ohio businesses, providing diversity and inclusion training for employees.
Founded in 1975, the center seeks to enrich the lives of the diverse LGBTQ+ community through advocacy, support, education, and celebration. It provides a safe, welcoming, and affirming space where guests of all ages can be their authentic selves.
In collaboration with community partners, such as MetroHealth, the center offers a range of health and wellness services, including HIV testing, to foster a more informed and healthy community.
(Photos by Ken Robinson/WTAM)
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