NYC Homeless Shelter To House Dozens Of LGBT Youth Thanks To ‘Golden Girl’ Bea Arthur

A staggering 40% of the homeless youth served by agencies identify as LGBT, according to the Williams Institute.

An upcoming homeless shelter serving LGBT youth in New York City is hoping to give dozens of LGBTers a warm place to stay thanks to the late “Golden Girls” star, Bea Arthur.

The residence, named for Arthur whose generous donation made the project possible, is slated to open the 18-bed shelter at 222 E. 13th St by February of next year, reports DNAinfo.

image640x480Rendering of the Bea Arthur Residence  

“It’s really accelerating,” said Steve Herrick of the Cooper Square Committee, which has partnered with the Ali Forney Center, a nonprofit that works with LGBT homeless youth. “The building is about 40 percent complete right now.”

DNAinfo adds:

Though the shelter was initially scheduled to open this summer, construction on the long-derelict building — being gut-renovated by Builders-R-Us Construction Corp. — had hit a few snags after breaking ground in July of last year, explained Herrick.

There were a few Department of Building violations stacked against the run-down site from the start, he said, which records show have all been resolved.

Though the holdups placed the renovation work several months behind schedule, said Herrick, the project is now well on its way to becoming a shelter that will provide beds, on-site counseling, and case management to the city’s homeless gay and transgender youth.

The $3.3 million city-funded project bears the name of the Broadway and television actress who was also among the Ali Forney Center’s greatest supporters and cheerleaders.

Bea Arthur, who had put on a benefit show for the then-struggling nonprofit in 2005, bequeathed $300,000 to the center upon her death in 2009.

Thank you for being a friend Bea!

Check out Bea Arthur’s 1997 interview with the BBC’s Gaytime TV where she discusses her popularity with the gay community.