The LGBT Network will double the number of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals helped each month by moving its headquarters into larger space in Hauppauge, officials said this week.
The nonprofit plans to rent 15,000 square feet at 125 Kennedy Dr. That’s more than three times the size of its current headquarters in Woodbury.
The 25-year-old organization currently provides health, education, human and advocacy services to 1,000 people each month, said founder and CEO David Kilmnick.
The larger office will feature a cafe where people can learn the skills necessary to work in restaurants and other hospitality businesses. “It’s going to be a workforce development program to hire our young people, give them jobs and get them off the street,” he told a meeting of the Suffolk County Industrial Development Agency.
The new office will be able to accommodate five events simultaneously; the current space allows for only one event at a time. “One of the things that will expand at this new facility is our drop-in HIV testing, which we were only able to do once a week. We’re now going to be able to do it every day,” Kilmnick said.
The IDA granted the network $154,200 in tax breaks over 10 years for the expansion project, which is valued at $2.3 million. The property tax savings total $143,800, or a reduction of 27.5 percent.
Without the aid, network attorney Nicholas Terzulli said the nonprofit “will not be able to provide the expanded level of services to the thousands of Long Island families that are in desperate need of them.”
In addition to the proposed Hauppauge headquarters, the network has facilities in Sag Harbor, Bay Shore and Long Island City, Queens. The group's first headquarters was in Bay Shore in the 1990s.
On Long Island, the network has a workforce of 31 people. Twenty jobs will move from Woodbury to Hauppauge, where four more people will be hired within two years. IDA records show employees earn $50,633 on average, per year.
Separately, the county’s Economic Development Corp., which has the same board as the IDA, agreed last year to issue $5.5 million in tax-exempt bonds for the network’s proposed community center in Patchogue.
Board member Sondra Cochran praised the network this week, saying her niece and nephew attended its education programs as students at West Babylon High School. “It taught them so much about people, how to love people,” she said. “I can imagine what you can do with more space, how much more you can do with these wonderful programs.”
The average annual pay of LGBT Network employees was incorrect in an earlier version of this story due to an error in the aid application filed by the network with the Suffolk County Industrial Development Agency.