YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — A nonprofit group working toward building inclusivity and helping members of the LGBTQ+ community held a fundraiser Sunday to benefit its programs.
It was the seventh year for the Full Spectrum Community Outreach spaghetti dinner fundraiser. It took place at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Youngstown.
In the past, the fundraiser has benefitted the group’s June Pride in the Valley parade in Warren. This year, Full Spectrum will use all the money to set up a new center in Youngstown at the form Hope House location. The group has been without an in-person location since last April.
Full Spectrum is also purchasing a separate property that will be a LGBTQ+ transitional shelter. The location will remain undisclosed for safety and privacy precautions.
“There’s currently nowhere to send LGBT adults that are homeless in the Mahoning Valley,” said founder and CEO Tim Bortner. “We’re currently having to send people to Kent, Pittsburgh or Cleveland.”
Members said the goal is to open the shelter in fall of this year.
“It is so important for us to open up this center. There’s nothing like it in our community,” said events director Natalie Smith. “We often have to look for viable options for members of our community, when they’re displaced outside of town.”
On June 17, Full Spectrum is hosting its fourth annual pride festival at the Courthouse Square in downtown Warren.