LGBT advocacy groups are fundraising to purchase a New YorK City Church that was run by reverend David Manning, best known for proclaiming ‘Homos should be stoned’.
The Atlah Worldwide Church is set to be sold in a public auction this month following a court order. The Church is said to owe over $1million in unpaid taxes and bills.
Upon hearing of the sale, LGBT groups have set up a GoFundMe page in an attempt to buy the church to turn it into a support and respite centre for homeless LGBT young people.
Since setting up the page on Friday more than $118,000 has been pledged to the Ali Forney Center which is hoping to use the space to expand housing for LGBT youth.
“I think it would represent a real healing of a terrible wound that’s been in that neighbourhood,” said Carl Siciliano, founder and executive director of the Ali Forney Center.
The centre currently houses 107 homeless youth and has a drop-in area three blocks from Atlah. It offers mental health and medical services and provides over 50,000 meals to homeless LGBT youth annually.
Siciliano said that every night the centre turns away between 170 to 200 young people in need.
If the centre fails to raise enough funds to buy the building, it plans to use the monies raised to assist with homeless LGBT youth programs at other sites.