NEW BEDFORD — Construction is under way to bring the SouthCoast LGBTQ+ Network a step closer to the goal of being a hub for the LGBTQ+ community south of Boston.
“Here we are and it’s moving fast. And it’s really exciting,” said the network’s marketing director and board member, Kerry Zeida. “And what a great time to be talking about it during Pride month.”
In February, the SouthCoast LGBTQ+ Network announced it had signed a purchase and sales agreement for the former Sister Rose House location at 60 Eighth St., next door to the Union Church.
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“It’s withstood 113 years of existence,” Zeida added. Built in 1908, the former four-story homeless shelter sat vacant for six years until the network was able to purchase it from the city for $15,000.
“The city is happy that we’re here. We’re happy that we’re here,” said President Andrew Pollack. The center will welcome LGBTQ+ youth ages 8-24, adults and elders all over the SouthCoast.
“Togetherness is at the core of belonging,” Zeida said. “That’s a major motivation here, to actually bring people together, who otherwise would feel very isolated without it.”
The center’s mission is to assist with wellness, mental health and nutrition needs. It will also offer resources toward health care and financial services as well as connecting with the community by serving as a safe haven for all.