Harlem, New York – The Ali Forney Center met a $200,000 fundraising goal in less than two weeks.
Donations poured in following news that vocally anti-gay Atlah Worldwide Missionary Church will face foreclosure auction on Feb 24. The charity quickly expressed interest in buying the building.
Headquartered in Midtown, the Center operates the country’s only 24/7 drop-in center for homeless LGBT youth. They have an average waiting list of 200 kids per night.
The Ali Forney Center’s Executive Director Carl Siciliano released a statement expressing joy at “the opportunity to turn a place that has promoted hatred and violence into a safe space for LGBT homeless youth.”
According to court documents, the church had until last April to pay over $1 million in debts. The church operated for 30 years before closing.
Targets of the church’s rhetoric ranged from gays to Barack Obama. Its large, red billboard has said of gays, “cursed be thou with cancer, HIV, syphilis, stroke, madness, the itch, then Hell.’
Chief pastor James David Manning has praised anti-gay leaders in Uganda for not conforming to President Obama’s “anti-integrity, anti-life, anti-humanity, anti-universal understanding, anti-DNA” agenda.
Upon hearing of the possible buyout, Manning raged on his church’s Youtube channel, “the sodomites are sick as hell! This is the lord’s house! This ain’t no damn bathhouse! It ain’t no fag house!”
Siciliano warned that the bidding cost will be significantly higher considering the real estate market, but that they anticipate having a partner when the time rolls around.
“We will continue fundraising through the #HarlemNoHate campaign and make every effort to be in as strong a position as possible to acquire the building,” said Siciliano.
You can join Ali Forney by using the hashtag #HarlemNoHate or donating at harlemnohate.org.