Yesterday we learned that Harlem’s infamous “Jesus Would Stone Homos” hate church has been ordered to public auction due to over $1M in unpaid bills. Many of you here on JMG immediately suggested that the community rally to buy the property for the Ali Forney Center. You may be able to help that dream come true. AFC founder Carl Siciliano tells us about the campaign:
“The biggest reason our youths are driven from their homes is because of homophobic and transphobic religious beliefs of their parents. Because of this, it has been horrifying for us to have our youths exposed to Manning’s messages inciting hatred and violence against our community. It has meant the world to us that so many Harlem residents have stood up to support our young people, and are now urging us to provide urgently needed care at the site of so much hatred. If we are able to obtain the space it would truly be a triumph of love over hatred.”
More from the campaign page:
AFC whose Harlem based programs provide 50,000 meals a year for homeless LGBT youth and offers interventions such as medical and mental health care, case management, educational and career services plans to utilize the Atlah site to provide housing to LGBT youths. AFC also plans to launch a catering business run and operated by its clients.
AFC hopes to raise at least $200K through an initial public fundraising effort, and will seek to leverage those funds to obtain additional support from local government, major donors and foundations. If the Ali Forney Center is not able to obtain the building, it commits to utilize any funds raised to increase its housing and vocational services for homeless LGBT youth in another site.
From Harlem Against Hate’s Stacy Parker Le Melle:
“When the ATLAH story broke on Thursday, immediately I heard from neighbors: wouldn’t it be amazing if an LGBT group could acquire the property? What if it were the Ali Forney Center? We all knew that this would be poetic justice. We need to care for those kicked out of homes, often on religious-based grounds. We need to care for those most vulnerable to ATLAH’s hate speech.”
Ali Forney operates a 24-hour drop-in center just a few blocks from the ATLAH property and it serves over 1000 LGBT youths annually. The JMG community has been incredibly generous to Ali Forney Center over the years, which Carl regularly acknowledges both in person to me and at Ali Forney events. As noted above, not one penny you donate to this latest endeavor will be “wasted” if the ATLAH purchase doesn’t go through. We can do this.