READING, Pa. | The LGBT Center of Greater Reading announced on Friday that it will open a second service location in the city of Reading to accommodate its rapidly growing service base, and reach a greater number of Reading’s LGBTQ+ community members.
The new satellite facility will be located in the Calvary United Church of Christ (UCC) on Reading’s Centre Avenue, organization officials say.
The new satellite space is said to more than double the LGBT Center’s footprint and supports the organization’s mission to provide services, advocacy, and support to the Greater Reading LGBTQ+ community, with the goal that all may live a life of fulfillment, inclusion, and celebration.
It will enable the LGBT Center to create a secondary drop-in location to provide weekly meals, laundry, emergency shelter for participants in the Rainbow Relief program, and expanded food pantry services in addition to the expansion of support services and community outreach events, officials say.
“We are thrilled for the opportunity to expand our reach in Berks County and our physical footprint,” said Michelle Dech, Executive Director. “With this satellite location and through the generous partnership with Calvary UCC, we continue to break down barriers to access and promote inclusivity.”
“As a community of faith that has supported the LGBTQ community for decades, we are very excited about this new relationship with the LGBTQ Center of Reading,” said the Rev. Dr. Stephen Ohnsman, pastor of Calvary United Church of Christ. “We look forward to working with them as they continue to do the work of justice and equality in Berks County.”
A ribbon-cutting for the new location is planned for August, officials said. The LGBT Center’s primary location at 1501 North 13th Street will continue to house the Center’s business operations, Training and Technology Center, and Arts Collaborative as well as some of the Center’s events and service groups.