Monday, February 1, 2016

LGBT Youth Organization raising funds to buy Anti-Gay Church in Harlem

Pastor James David Manning is about to lose his church to the gays!

Since he can't pay his bills, his church will up for auction. And the sweetener is the LGBT youth organization, Ali Forney Center is raising money to take it over! From their website:
The Ali Forney Center (AFC), the nation's largest and most comprehensive organization dedicated to homeless LGBT youth, announces that it is raising funds to attempt to purchase Atlah Church located at 36 W 123rd St, New York, NY 10027, which is being put up for auction due to unpaid bills and tax liens. Atlah Church has been the home of Rev. James Manning, who has notoriously utilized the sign outside the church for a series of incendiary statements inciting hatred and violence against LGBT people.

The Ali Forney Center, which currently houses 107 youths throughout NYC including 24 youths in Harlem, also provides a 24 hour drop-in center a few blocks from Atlah Church, which serves over 1,000 homeless LGBT youths per year, says its youths are victims of the hateful rhetoric of Reverend Manning and others like him.

"The biggest reason our youths are driven from their homes is because of homophobic and transphobic religious beliefs of their parents", said Carl Siciliano, founder and executive director of AFC. "Because of this, it has been horrifying for us to have our youths exposed to Manning's messages inciting hatred and violence against our community. It has meant the world to us that so many Harlem residents have stood up to support our young people, and are now urging us to provide urgently needed care at the site of so much hatred. If we are able to obtain the space it would truly be a triumph of love over hatred."

AFC whose Harlem based programs provide 50,000 meals a year for homeless LGBT youth and offers interventions such as medical and mental health care, case management, educational and career services plants to utilize the Atlah site to provide housing to LGBT youths. AFC also plans to launch a catering business run and operated by its clients.

AFC hopes to raise at least $200K through an initial public fundraising effort, and will seek to leverage those funds to obtain additional support from local government, major donors and foundations. If the Ali Forney Center is not able to obtain the building, it commits to utilize any funds raised to increase its housing and vocational services for homeless LGBT youth in another site.
So far, they have raised $100,741 dollars! It seems that Atlah Church's legacy may die and a place for LGBT youth will rise from the ashes!

Please go here for more info and to donate to this historic issue.

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Viktor is a small town southern boy living in Los Angeles. You can find him on Twitter, writing about pop culture, politics, and comics. He’s the creator of the graphic novel StrangeLore and currently getting back into screenwriting.