IMPACT
08/31/2016 02:39 pm ET Updated Sep 01, 2016

Bea Arthur Homeless Shelter For LGBTQ Youth To Open Next Year

"This organization really is saving lives."

Thank you for being a friend, Bea Arthur.

The Bea Arthur Residence, a homeless shelter for LGBTQ youth named for the “Golden Girls” star, will officially open in 2017, according to DNAinfo.

The shelter was made possible by a generous donation from Arthur’s estate, which gave $300,000 to the Ali Forney Center after the actress died in 2009. The Ali Forney Center, the group behind the shelter, is dedicated to serving homeless LGBTQ youth in New York City.

The shelter, which will have 18 bedsis slated to finish construction in February 2017, according to NewNowNext. It will open its doors shortly thereafter.

The project will make a big difference to queer homeless youth: Approximately 40 percent of youth served by homeless youth organizations in the U.S. identify as LGBTQ, according to a 2012 report.

The top reasons LGBTQ youth report for becoming homeless are running away from home or being forced out of their homes after being rejected by their families because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

“These kids at the Ali Forney Center are literally dumped by their families because of the fact that they are lesbian, gay or transgender,” Arthur told Next Magazine in 2005, according to CNN. “This organization really is saving lives.”

Arthur was a long-time supporter of LGBTQ youth and steady contributor to the Ali Forney Center, according to a HuffPost blog by center director Carl Siciliano.

“That such an icon would stand up for us, would use the power of her celebrity to call attention to the needs of homeless LGBT youth, was invaluable,” Siciliano wrote.

HuffPost

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