We are writing to keep you informed about proposed changes at the Center. Our building at 1407 Sherwood Road has been put on the market. While we hope to sell the building, we are not changing our mission or retreating from our commitment to the LGBT community in Central Virginia.
As the Board of Directors of the Richmond Gay Community Foundation, Inc., the parent organization for Diversity Thrift and the Gay Community Center of Richmond, we have an obligation to be good stewards of the Foundation’s resources. The Board has decided that the facility is not central to our mission and that too much of our energy and resources currently is committed to its maintenance.
The building is huge, much bigger than we need to operate Diversity Thrift and other Center programs. Much of the space in the building remains in need of renovation and, therefore unusable. In addition, the location is not ideal for our purposes, and the building is not as close to public transit as we would like. The location and transportation accessibility issues have been cited as reasons that the facility remains underutilized by the community.
After months of study, wrestling with the issues, and thoughtful consideration of the alternatives, the Board voted to put the building up for sale. The plan is to relocate Diversity Thrift to another location, and to identify appropriate alternative space for the Foundation’s offices, current Center programs like SAGE, and community meetings.
We are in the process of developing a business plan for Diversity Thrift which will help determine how much space we will need at the new location and the best ways to maximize revenues. We want to continue to build on Diversity Thrift’s reputation as the best thrift in Richmond and to increase our ability to return value to the community.
We continue to be committed to serving the GLBT community of Central Virginia and working toward full equality and inclusion. At the same time, every responsible nonprofit must constantly examine itself to ensure that it is serving its constituency and the public in the best possible ways, investing donated dollars wisely and producing programs that are needed by the community. These are not decisions that the Board has taken lightly.
If you have questions or suggestions, please contact our interim CEO, at Bill.Harrison@lgbtrichmond.net or by calling 804.622.4646, ext. 20.