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South Coast LGBTQ+ Community Center to Open in New Bedford

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South Coast LGBTQ+ Network
The South Coast LGBTQ+ Network plans to a community center at 60 Eighth St., the building at left, off Union Street in downtown New Bedford.

A planned LGBTQ+ community center on the South Coast is taking a big step forward next Thursday, with a ceremonial opening and small-group tours.

It will be the only center of its kind south of Boston, according to Andy Pollock, president of the South Coast LGBTQ+ Network, the group behind the project.

“The city accepted our proposal, so — we own it! And we're so excited,” he said.

He said the group bought the three-story building, formerly the home of the Sister Rose House shelter, from the city for $15,000.

Located at 60 Eighth St., just off Union Street in downtown New Bedford, it still needs nearly a million dollars’ worth of renovations, and that work is just beginning.

When it’s done, the community center will have a new commercial kitchen, meeting and art spaces, and offices.

Pollock said programming will place special emphasis on helping the most vulnerable, including youth, trans individuals, and elders.

The group has been running programs for years, but not out of a central location. It previously had a shared office and a drop-in center.

Fundraising is ongoing, and the building is expected to be finished sometime next year.