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Response to:
Funding for LGBT Center of Greater Reading stripped by U.S. House Republicans

The decision eliminates $970,000 that Rep. Chrissy Houlahan had secured for the center.

Michelle Dech, Executive Director, The LGBT Center of Greater Reading
Friday, July 21, 2023

 

This, right here is a prime example of WHY the recent decision to block funding earmarked for the LGBT Center was wrong.

The decision was based in MISINFORMATION, bigotry and discrimination.

We have been fighting the battle to simply be respected as a human being and protected by he SAME basic human rights as the rest of the population shares, forever. It's hard to believe it's 2023 and not 1920.

The LGBT Center of Greater Reading remains committed to the work we set out to do. And, we will continue with our intended plans to expand and enhance our programs and services.

In the meantime we need YOUR help. Get involved, volunteer, share our posts, advocate on our behalf, attend our events, visit the center and learn about our services, donate at www.lgbtcenterofreading.com

We need all of our friends and allies standing beside us in this battle.

"Anyone who knows my journey over the past 2.5 years knows how important The LGBT Center of Greater Reading is to me. The place was my home, a place where everyone cared for me, valued me, a place that made a difference in my life, and where I was able to make a difference for others. It is heartbreaking to hear that the precious funds that help people with shelter, food, counseling, programs, events, and a place to be yourself have been stripped away by a few signatures and votes.

Though I haven't been able to be there nearly as much as I wish I could anymore, it will ALWAYS be my home, the place where I was truly able to become myself. If you're able, please help them out, anyway you can. Donations help, but so do volunteering and allyship. They need all now more than ever."

Donate now

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Michelle Dech, Executive Director, The LGBT Center of Greater Reading
Wednesday, July 19, 2023

Yesterday, the Congressional House of Representatives reviewed and passed ALL 2,668 Community Funding Projects submitted except for grant funding to three LGBTQ+ community organizations. The LGBT Center of Greater Reading was one of those organizations, along with our friends at William Way LGBT Community Center in Philadelphia and an LGBT organization in MA.


This grant proposal was put forward and vetted through the hard work and collaboration of Rep. Chrissy Houlahan, who uses an independent and nonpartisan board to select Community Funding Projects on behalf of the Pennsylvania 6th Congressional District. The grant request was submitted as set forth in all House of Representative guidelines, and last week the Transportation Subcommittee successfully moved forward with the proposal.


I cannot emphasize strongly enough that this action impacts the entire community of Greater Reading. These funds would have enabled us to provide temporary housing to the LGBTQ+ community in Berks County who are homeless or in need of emergency shelter.


We serve the entire community of Greater Reading/Berks County through critical services like free mental health counseling, support groups, care coordination, safe and inclusive drop-in center (7 days per week), emergency funding, transportation assistance, monthly free warm meals, clothing vouchers, and inclusive training, not to mention our community-building events. Our tiny food and toiletry pantry has served more than 12,000 pounds of food to our community in the last 12 months and many of those served, identified as allies.


We can provide countless examples of instances where the Center supported individuals, brought together diverse groups, those divided by generations, or those who needed a safe place to engage in civil discourse.


WE SERVE ALL who come to our door. Without bias. Without discrimination. We help those who most need it in their times of greatest need.


We stand firm in our assertion that the LGBT Center of Greater Reading is an asset to our community, and we know that our community feels the same. While this decision is damaging and a temporary setback to our project, we are confident our legislators are pursuing all possible options to support us in our mission. 


As family, friends, neighbors and colleagues, we live and work together to make our community the best in Berks for all, and will continue to make a difference to everyone in need. 


I call upon all of you, our allies, our friends, families, neighbors, colleagues – please consider supporting our organization and advocating on our behalf.

As we the LGBT community has found a welcoming "home" in Berks,

we welcome all support in achieving our goal of providing emergency transitional housing for everyone in need. 


To support our mission and goal of creating Transitional Housing for our local LGBT community.

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Donate now

In 2019 The LGBT Center of Greater Reading hosted our first "Dance Through the Decades" Fundraising Gala. At this event we exceeded our goals in raising money and was able to expand our free counseling and care coordination, increase our employee base, and set our community engagement activity to record levels. This year we want to triple what we accomplished in 2019 and expand our reach and continue to provide free services to the community. The Prom is open to all individuals including our allies! Have you ever wanted a chance to start over? Come to Prom with the person you choose as the person you were always meant to be! Or experience the fun over again with friends! The choice is yours.  

If you’re interested in becoming a Sponsor or purchasing a tablen please contact Aaron Rineer at 484-513-3170 or development@lgbtcenterofreading.com for more information.

Thank you for supporting our mission!

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