Destination Tomorrow Expands LGBTQ Service Portfolio and Moves Forward with Bronx LGBTQ Center Expansion
The Bronx, NY – Destination Tomorrow, the Bronx’s leading trans-organization, in partnership with LGBTQ funders and the Bronx LGBTQ Caucus have announced plans to construct the Bronx LGBTQ Center in the Melrose section of the South Bronx. The creation of the Bronx LGBTQ Center fills a void in the Bronx, which for nearly one decade has been the only borough in New York City without an LGBTQ Center. The Bronx LGBTQ Center will expand Destination Tomorrow’s mission to serve the entire borough by providing holistic services in the areas of health and human services as well as wrap around programs to address workforce development, bullying, educational and vocational training, arts and cultural equity, housing, and economic development capacity building. This organizational growth, developed after significant strategic planning, will close the New York City LGBTQ equity gap and provide services for Bronxites by a grassroots Bronx-based organization.
A new LGBTQ Center for The Bronx may soon occupy the upper floors of the old Sachs building on Third Avenue in The Hub./ Rendering courtesy of ARQ Architects
The Bronx LGBTQ Center will develop innovative solutions for the Bronx’s LGBTQ population throughout the lifespan as the Center seeks to:
- work to end homophobia and transphobia,
- provide a home, safe space, and holistic service model for the Bronx LGBTQ community,
- and to advocate for equality.
Renderings for the new center, stemming from an LGBTQ Community Needs Assessment were released in November and signaled the organic expansion of Destination Tomorrow’s service portfolio. The momentum behind the planning efforts was confirmed during the organization’s annual gala where elected officials and leaders in the Bronx LGBT movement signaled their support of Destination Tomorrow’sefforts.
In a recent letter the Mayor Bill De Blasio, the New York City Congressional Caucus stated, “[T]he Bronx remains without an LGBTQ Community Center, and continues to be the sole borough in New York City without one. As you may know, community centers play a vital role in enriching the lives of residents and the neighborhoods they call home. Whether providing easy access to quality, safe programs and services or directing families to the appropriate channels to receive the much-needed assistance they are seeking, community centers are a crucial safety net for many. We strongly believe that no one should be forced to travel outside of their neighborhood in order to obtain essential care readily accessible in neighboring communities. For these reasons, we ask that you work to improve LGBTQ services in the Bronx by helping open an LGBTQ community center.”
“Destination Tomorrow has consistently provided evidence-based programs and wrap around services to the Bronx LGBTQ community,” said Sean Coleman, Executive Director of Destination Tomorrow. “After significant planning, listening to input from our community throughout the entire borough, and building relationships with funders, the business community, and fellow LGBTQ service providers, we decided the new center was not a want, but rather a need – and Destination Tomorrow is fully equipped to fill that need by providing services to our community from a brick and mortar LGBTQ Center.”
A rooftop memorial garden for Bronx LGBTQ residents who have perished due to HIV/AIDS, transgender and anti-gay violence./Rendering courtesy of ARQ Architects
Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr. has been very supportive of Destination Tomorrow and their inroads to creating a holistic LGBTQ service model dedicating his assistance to the organization during its December 2017 Gala. Additionally, the Bronx Borough President has committed support to LGBT initiatives in the borough providing $600,000 to the SAGE project and $100,000 to the Callen-Lorde clinic, “These are two projects that I am very excited about,” adding they are “unique projects that provide much needed help in the LGBTQ community.”
Over the next three months Destination Tomorrow will release its strategic plan, expand the base of its Board of Directors, and work to identify appropriate staffing to accommodate growth into the Bronx center. In tandem, construction of the LGBTQ Center will launch in the second quarter of 2018.