William Way Nets $6 Million

On his way out of Harrisburg, Gov. Rendell gifted money to the organization's LGBT senior housing project

The William Way Community Center received a welcomed windfall from the Commonwealth just in time for the New Year. As Gov. Ed Rendell exits his post this month, the former Philly mayor and longtime supporter of many city initiatives, alloted $6 million in funding for the construction of the new LGBT senior center at the William Way.

During his two-term governorship, Rendell’s approved as much as $100 million for local projects, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Christopher Bartlett, the William Way’s executive director, says he’s grateful to the governor for securing what he calls a “significant investment in the well-being of LGBT seniors in the region.” He also thanked Mark Segal, the publisher of Philadelphia Gay News and the president of the Dr. Magnus Hirschfeld Fund, for assisting in the fundraising efforts.

“Both local and national research shows that housing is one of the key concerns for LGBT seniors,” explains Bartlett. “This commitment from the state, coupled with the city and federal dollars, will lay the foundation for such housing in the heart of Center City.”

The senior center – targeting low-income LGBT seniors – has already netted funds from the Dr. Magnus Hirschfeld Fund for its construction at 13th and Spruce where the William Way has had its home since 1974.

Other gay-friendly organizations that received money from the departing governor, according to Inqy columnist Joseph N. DiStefano, include the Philadelphia Live Arts Festival and Philly Fringe, the Avenue of the Arts Streetscape Project, National Museum of American Jewish History and Piazza at Schmidt’s.