A New York City organization that
shelters homeless gay youth has received a $300,000 gift from the
estate of actress Bea Arthur. The seven-year-old
Ali Forney Center (AFC) announced the gift Tuesday.
“We work with hundreds of young
people who are rejected by their families because of who they are,”
Carl Siciliano, executive director of AFC, said in a statement. “We
are overwhelmed with gratitude that Bea saw that LGBT [lesbian, gay,
bisexual and transgender] youth deserve as much love and support as
any other young person, and that she placed so much value in the work
we do to protect them, and to help rebuild their lives.”
AFC officials said the money would be
used to purchase a building to be dedicated in the legendary actress'
honor. The building would be the group's tenth location and would
provide housing for 12 people.
AFC currently operates seven
residential sites in New York City and two drop-in centers. Over
1,000 young people use the group's services each year. The centers
offer homeless gay youth access to medical and mental health care,
hot meals, clothing and vocational assistance.