NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A decade-long dream is becoming a reality in Brooklyn.
The borough’s first and only community pride center announced a major expansion Tuesday, allowing it to help thousands more LGBTQ people each year.
It has been a long journey for Debbie Brennan and everyone at the Brooklyn Community Pride Center.
Now, Brennan and developers are signing a 30-year lease for a new headquarters, inside a section of the Bedford Union Armory in Crown Heights. It has been a dream for 10 years.
“We house the largest LGBTQ+ community here in Brooklyn, and it’s just a necessary need for people to be able to be in their own backyard and feel comfortable and safe and welcomed,” Brennan said.
“How far we have come and how far we have yet to go,” center CEO Floyd Rumohr added.
The center estimates nearly 200,000 Brooklynites identify themselves as part of the LGBTQ community, yet the lion’s share of services are based out of Manhattan.
The new headquarters is nearly 1,000 square feet larger than its current space in Beford-Stuyvesant. Higher-ups expect to double the amount of people they help, up to 20,000 a year.
Borough President Eric Adams’ office is donating $1 million in capital support to make this happen.
The organization will use its old space for youth programming and workforce, while it’s new headquarters will concentrate on health and wellness, including the borough’s first dedicated mental health LGBTQ clinic. It has the support of the community.
The headquarters is expected to open by December.
CBS2 has learned the pride center actually started in a board member’s basement in 2008.