A homeless shelter for LGBT Youth will break ground this Monday (20 July) using the money bequeathed to it by legendary comedian Bea Arthur.
The actor, who played Dorothy on The Golden Girls and Maude Findlay in Maude, died in 2009. Her will left $300,000 (€277,000) to the Ali Forney Center in New York City.
In 2012, the City Council and Manhattan borough president gave another $3.3 million to renovate the building for the shelter, which will be called the Bea Arthur Residence for Homeless LGBT Youth.
The center will be located on East 13th Street in Manhattan’s East Village, New York.
Executive Director Carl Siciliano of the Ali Forney Center said in a press release: ‘It meant the world to me that a star of the magnitude of Bea Arthur would do so much to help the Ali Forney Center in our work of housing homeless LGBT youths.
‘I am very grateful that we will now be able to honor Bea and continue to keep her compassion alive through the establishment of the Bea Arthur Residence for Homeless LGBT Youth.’
The Golden Girl star gave one of her final performances at the center and raised $40,000 for the organization (€37,000). Her donation was key to keeping the center open during the global recession.
Siciliano founded the center after meeting Ali Forney, a homeless teen, while working as the director of a homeless youth drop. Forney was murdered on the streets of New York City at age 21.