The Los Angeles LGBT Center is one of the top queer nonprofit centers in the world—it offers almost every service anyone could ever need: medical and psychiatric care, affordable and homeless housing, legal services, employment services, a charter high school, advocacy services, and cultural events. It even has seven locations across the city. Additionally, they also feed the public. Everything from soup kitchens for homeless youth to food pantries and meals on wheels for seniors.
They feed the needy of Los Angeles to the tune of 74,000 meals a year. More than 200 meals a day. And they want to double that.
One of their centers to be, the planned Anita May Rosenstein Center, will have as many as 200 units of affordable housing for senior citizens and homeless youth, and central to the whole thing will be a professional-grade commercial kitchen. It will feed the residents and also serve as a fundraising space, a place to host charity dinners with rooftop dining.
Central to these plans is Susan Feniger, a board member of the LGBT Center and a well-known chef. She founded Border Grill and had a run on the TV show Too Hot Tamales as well as Top Chef.
Another key player is Arlita Miller, the center’s dietary coordinator. She works in the long term transitional living program, giving LGBT free housing and training in her kitchen. That training is at the level of budgeting kitchens and cooking for themselves, things many homeless youth never had an opportunity to learn. With the new kitchen, she hopes to ramp it up to serious culinary training, preparing them for high-value jobs in the restaurant industry.
The new center and kitchen are expected to open in early 2019, giving plenty of time for preparations to be made for the new programs.