New, old faces bring change to Affirmations

BTL Staff
By | 2007-01-18T09:00:00-05:00 January 18th, 2007|Uncategorized|

As Affirmations prepares to open its new offices to LGBT folk, they do so with a staff mixed with new faces and veterans.
At the beginning of the new year, Michael Coleman joined the staff of 15 full-time staffers as development director, along with Brandon Hynes, who now serves as the volunteer and leadership development coordinator.
Despite legal troubles Coleman faced last year, he comes to the center ready to start a new chapter in his life. It’s reassuring to know there’s someone so out and proud working for the center. We’re confident his vision, paired with the others, will bring about changes to the LGBT community in Michigan.
At times, during the center’s last 15 years, it’s been a struggle to meet the needs of a diverse community.
It’s a new day for Coleman, yes. But it’s also a new beginning for Affirmations, which always strives to be a positive influence in our community, welcoming LGBT people in for free weekly HIV testing and hosting numerous helpful programs, including a successful smoking cessation workshop.
And this is a shining moment for Executive Director Leslie Thompson, who has helped rebuild Affirmations into one of the nation’s leading LGBT centers.
We hope more people will flock to the center, using its resources and finding solace in knowing that although Michigan’s gay community isn’t central, we do have one. And it’s where Affirmations makes its home: in the heart of Ferndale.
After a wildly successful fundraising campaign, which surpassed its $5.3 million capital and endowment goal, the center for queers plans to move to its new community center sometime in late February.
The three-level, nearly 16,000-square-foot facility is a victory not only for the local LGBT folk who will benefit from myriad programs and support services. But it also leads the nation as one of the top 10 LGBT community centers.
The center also made history by receiving the largest donations from the Big Three.
After the move, Affirmations expects to hire an additional six to seven part-time employees, said Kathleen LaTosch, special events/marketing director for Affirmations.
Like others who have come and gone at Affirmations, we hope these newcomers will utilize a similar vision going forward.

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BTL Staff
Between The Lines has been publishing LGBTQ-related content in Southeast Michigan since the early '90s. This year marks the publication's 25th anniversary.