By Kathryn G. Menu
The Long Island Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender (GLBT) Center of the Hamptons officially became the lease holder of its new space at Sag Harbor’s First Presbyterian (Old Whalers’) Church on Monday.
The center, which opens in July, will be the first of its kind on the East End, created for the GLBT community, and primarily its youth, by the Long Island GLBT Services Network (LIGALY).
The center has a two-year lease with the church for two classroom spaces vacated by the Sag Harbor Youth Center.
On Tuesday, LIGALY CEO David Kilmnick said he expects the organization will host a grand opening celebration at the end of the month. LIGALY will use the remainder of July to meet with stakeholders — youth, educators, health care providers — to talk about the needs of the community and the different roles and services the center can provide.
Local youth will also have the opportunity to help design communal spaces within the new center space, said Kilmnick.
The center aims to host after-school and youth leadership programming, continue outreach to East End school districts and offer health services like testing for HIV and sexually transmitted diseases.
The center will also offer drop-in center services for youth, anti-bullying programming, youth get-togethers as well as support services for parents and families. The center will have Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders — Long Island (SAGE-Long Island) programming also available at the Old Whalers’ Church.
Fundraising will also remain a constant priority for the not-for-profit, which will staff the center in Sag Harbor, but is also focused on the long-term goal of opening a state-of-the-art Long Island GLBT Center of the Hamptons.
So far, the organization has raised over $60,000 towards the $1 million the center believes it will need to open that facility.