Unveiling of Karen “KayLove” Pedrosa’s mural at the Center honors a space created for LGBTQ+ elders and their allies in the Bronx
HELP USA joined SAGE, the world’s largest organization for LGBTQ+ elders, at a community celebration on September 27 to formally mark the official opening of SAGE Senior Center Bronx. The unique space is a centerpiece at Crotona Pride House, an 84-unit affordable residence for seniors developed in partnership with HPD, HELPDevCo, and NY State Homes and Community Renewal. This state-of-the-art center for older New Yorkers provides a vibrant and welcoming space for LGBTQ+ elders and allies.
To honor the residents and highlight the community, SAGE unveiled a mural by queer Puerto Rican artist Karen “KayLove” Pedrosa. The unique tropical work of art takes inspiration from Caribbean and Latin American culture, American Hip Hop, and New York Salsa, and elevates the cultural diversity and its large LGBTQ+ community in the Bronx.
SAGE Center Bronx at Crotona Pride House mural by Karen “KayLove” Pedrosa
Fifteen benches are also located in the outdoor space, customized with unique plaques that contain inspiring quotes submitted by the community members.
The event featured a brief speaking program that included NYC Department for the Aging Commissioner Lorraine Cortés-Vázquez, NYS Director of LGBTQ+ Affairs Ron Zacchi, NYS Deputy Commissioner of Aging and Long-Term Care Adam Herbst, NYC Public Advocate Jumaane D. Williams, Bronx Borough President Vanessa L. Gibson, HELP USA CEO & President Tom Hameline and SAGEServes Executive Director Darcy Connors.
“Today is about more than just unveiling this amazing work of art,” said Darcy Connors, Executive Director of SAGEServes.” It’s about honoring the unique stories and histories of the LGBTQ+ elders who are a part of this community and recognizing the vital space that is SAGE Center Bronx at Crotona Pride House.” Continued Connors, “today’s celebration is a firm recognition and commemoration of the progress we have already made in creating more welcoming spaces and community resources for LGBTQ+ elders. I’m proud of the work we have already accomplished and see this as the start of an exciting new chapter for our Bronx community.”
HELP USA, co-developer of Crotona Pride House, the home of SAGE Center Bronx, is a valued partner with SAGE in creating LGBTQ+-affirming spaces. Tom Hameline, HELP USA CEO & President said, “Building better lives for older people, and in particular those who struggle to find safe, affordable housing like members of the LGBTQ+ community, is at the core of what HELP USA does each and every day. Having the SAGE Center at Crotona Pride House as a community hub centered in this building perfectly reflects the vibrancy of LGBTQ+ elders and our Bronx neighborhood, and we are proud to partner with SAGE to make this happen.”