In honor of Bea Arthur, a homeless shelter for LGBT youth will break ground July 20 in New York City.
Upon Arthur's death in 2009, she left $300,000 to the Ali Forney Center in her will, part of which is going toward the shelter. In 2012, the New York City Council and the Manhattan borough president allocated an additional $3.3 million to renovate the building that will accomodate the shelter. Opening next year, the Bea Arthur Residence for Homeless LGBT Youth will be located on East 13th Street in Manhattan's East Village. The facility will accomodate 18 beds for homeless LGBT youth.
Executive Director Carl Siciliano of the Ali Forney Center will be in attendance at the ground breaking with several elected officials. In a press release, Siciliano stated:
"It meant the world to me that a star of the magnitude of Bea Arthur would do so much to help the Ali Forney Center in our work of housing homeless LGBT youths. I am very grateful that we will now be able to honor Bea and continue to keep her compassion alive through the establishment of the Bea Arthur Residence for Homeless LGBT Youth."
The Golden Girl and comedic legend gave one of her final performances at the Ali Forney Center in 2005 when she helped raise $40,000 for the organization. During her performance, she promised to devote herself to the cause. After she died, her donation helped keep the center's doors open during harsh economic times.