The Bronx’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender community has a new home.
On Wednesday, December 7, the Bronx Community Pride Center officially cut the ribon on its new headquarters on 975 Kelly Street.
Up until three weeks prior, the center was based out of a building on East 149th Street, near the Hub. And according to both staffers and visitors, the previous office was substandard.
“You would walk up three to four flights (to the office) and find used condoms, syringes,” said Temi Aregbola, director of prevention programs at BCPC.
Another common complaint about the old space, which the BCPC occupied for 15 years, was that it smelled of raw meat from a butcher shop underneath.
The new office signals a new era for the organization, according president Dirk McCall.
“This is a more usable space,” he said. “It’s handicap accessable, it’s more secure, it’s right by the train.”
It is about sixty percent the size of 1,200-square-foot old office, but the move was an easy decision. The BCPC signed a 10-year lease on the space, which is owned by the Arker Companies. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Ironically, the new BCPC office is on the second floor of the Reverand Ruben Diaz Gardens building, named for the father of the current borough president, who as a senator, opposed the same sex marriage bill that became law in New York State earlier this year.
The BCPC has six full-time employees and seven contract consultants. It serves about 1,000 Bronxites.
Seventeen-year-old Teddy Reyes, president of DeWitt Clinton High School’s Gay/Straight Alliance, has visited both locations. He called the new space “cleaner, and more bright.
“The other space was kind of dead,” he said.Bill Weisbrod can be reached via e-mail at bweisbrod@
©2011 Community News Group