LGBT community center may open in the fall

This building on the corner of Third Ave and Brook Ave will house the new BOOM! Wellness Center for LGBTQ youth expected to open this fall
Community News Group/Robert Christie

A new LGBTQ wellness center could be opening as early as this fall.

Enterprise Community Partners, Inc. announced on June 22 the closing on BOOM!Health’s new wellness center dedicated to the well-being of LBGTQ youth.

“The acquisition and development of 3144 Third Ave for our Wellness Center will have enormous impact on BOOM!Health’s expansion of services through its nationally recognized model of integrated care for marginalized populations in the Bronx and beyond,” Jose M Davila, president of BOOM!Health said. “We are extremely thankful to Enterprise, Chase and their partners who selected us to receive this capital allocation that will change forever the financial well-being of our community-based organization and will help us leverage more resources for the important work that we do.”

The 5-story 35,000 square foot facility will serve as a community center for LGBTQ youth and provide private rooms for HIV/AIDS prevention services, healthy coordination and legal help.

Councilman Ritchie Torres expressed appreciation for the new center.

“This new Wellness Center will continue to expand the LGBT infrastructure that is being built in the Bronx and provide necessary resources that are out of reach to many,” said Torres. “It is a welcomed addition to borough and shows that many organizational partners in the Bronx are ramping up their attention to the needs of the LGBT community.”

BOOM!’s facility will also include a community health clinic, pharmacy and a café which will also be a community space and workforce training center.

According to Enterprise, BOOM! first leased the building in 2014 and construction has already begun. Floor’s 2 and 3 of the former furniture store are already completed.

Callen-Lorde, an organization known for helping LGBTQ members in New York City, will – on the already completed first floor – run a health center and pharmacy.

Enterprise, Chase, and BOOM financed the $9.9 million center through a $10 million New York Market Tax Credit – $5.1 million of which was provided from the Enterprise Community Loan Fund.

“At Enterprise, we believe that having access to opportunity—affordable housing, quality schools, healthcare, and more—is vital to leading healthy and successful lives,” Judi Kende, vice president and New York market leader at Enterprise said in the press release.

“With LGBTQ youth comprising nearly 40 percent of the homeless youth population in New York City, BOOM!Health will provide one of the city’s most vulnerable populations with the quality healthcare, job training, and support system they need in order to succeed,” he added.

Also, JP Morgan Chase partnered with BOOM! and Enterprise to provide equity as an investor in the project.

“We are proud to support BOOM!Health’s mission in bringing an integrated and holistic approach to serving its community with access to care, health and human services, and employment,” En Jung Kim, vice president of Chase Community Development Banking’s New Markets Tax Credit group said.

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