Rock-throwing vandals break 9 windows at Dallas’ LGBT community center

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Nine windows were broken at Resource Center Dallas on Thursday, May 30. All of them were along the back wall of the main building facing the alley.

The windows were broken with rocks. No one entered the building and nothing was missing. Computer equipment sits behind some of the windows but nothing was damaged.

In March, four windows were broken by vandals.

“The number is surprising,” RCD spokesman Rafael McDonnell said. “More than we’ve seen previously.”

He said repairing the windows will cost about $300 and the center is looking into buying security cameras.

“Money used for this is money that can’t be used for something else,” he said.

He asked people in the neighborhood who see something suspicious going on in the alley, especially after hours, to call the police.

Dallas police LGBT liaison Laura Martin said there are no suspects and no evidence the vandalism is a hate crime but that motive has not been ruled out.

—  David Taffet

BREAKING: Resource Center Dallas to take over Youth First Texas on June 1

yftResource Center Dallas will assume all programming from Youth First Texas on June 1 as a result of an agreement reached between the two organizations, according to a release from RCD this afternoon. 

This will ensure a continuation of programming for LGBTQ youth, which was in doubt earlier this year after the previous YFT board had dwindled and remaining members either resigned or were removed.

After RCD assumes YFT programming, YFT will become a program of RCD. Programming will continue with YFT’s current staff and volunteers at its present location at 3918 Harry Hines Blvd.

Our strategic vision is to expand programs for seniors, families and youth,” RCD CEO Cece Cox said in the release. “As Resource Center Dallas nears its 30th anniversary, we are eager to take on the new challenges of serving our community’s youth and plan to work with the youth to develop additional programs and services. We will build upon the significant foundation and broad community support established by Youth First Texas over their 13 years of service.”

Richard Gordon was one of YFT’s first board members. He returned to the board in January to become interim chair after all previous board member resigned.

I am confident that the LGBTQ youth of North Texas will greatly benefit by the Center taking on the programming offered by Youth First,” Gordon said. “After extensive review and discussion, it was decided that this move to the Center will provide the much-needed stability and support that our LGTBQ youth deserve.”

—  David Taffet

Resource Center Dallas sends letter opposing Zedler amendment

Cece Cox

Cece Cox

Equality Texas is collecting letters to send to legislators encouraging them to oppose an amendment that would ban and defund LGBT resource centers on college campuses.

The amendment filed by state Rep. Bill Zedler, R-Arlington, claims that the centers endorse high-risk behavior and the spread of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases.

Resource Center Dallas CEO Cece Cox sent a letter today, stating that the amendment has “no public health value.”

“It exists for one reason and one reason only: to target college student resource centers simply because the centers provide services to the LGBT community,” the letter reads in part. “It’s intent is mean-spirited and discriminatory, and is rooted in the inaccurate belief that sexual orientation and gender identity ate behaviors.”

Read the full letter below.

—  Anna Waugh

Gray Pride announces its 1st programs

Kindley.Gary

Dr. Gary Kindley

Gray Pride, Resource Center Dallas’ program for people over 50 that was the subject of our cover story last week, holds its first event this Friday.

Gray Pride Café kicks off with Dr. Gary Kindley, author of Growing Older Without Fear, who speaks at 6 p.m. He is a licensed professional counselor, pastor, spiritual director and conflict mediator.

People are invited to stop by from 4–6 p.m.

Gray Pride Café will take place every first and third Friday of the month. The first Friday will be educational in nature and the third Friday will be social and entertainment.

Beginning April 14, Gray Pride hosts Sunday Matinees from 3–7 p.m. The movies will be LGBT-themed, and coffee, cake and conversation will follow the movie.

Gray Pride expands RCD’s educational and support services to include health and wellness activities, enrichment classes, monthly meals and social networking, support groups, special events, and women’s-only and men’s-only activities.

The first programs are designed for interaction because isolation and loneliness are serious problems among LGBT seniors.

Anyone interested in volunteering or participating in any of these activities may contact Gray Pride program director Shelley Hamilton at shamilton@rcdallas.org or 214-540-4418.

—  David Taffet

Vandals throw rocks through windows at Resource Center Dallas

RCDRafael McDonnell, Resource Center Dallas’ communications and advocacy manager, said rocks have been thrown through four windows at the center on Reagan Street in the last two weeks. Three of the last four windows were broken since Thursday.

“Any money spent on repairing is less money available for programs and services,” McDonnell said.

The windows were broken along the alley behind the center. He said it was probably nothing more than vandalism although there was no way to know if the center was targeted because it serves LGBT people or people with HIV/AIDS. No one got into the building.

Police reports taken on March 7 and March 9 list damage totaling $225.

LGBT police liaison Laura Martin said she would arrange to add patrols around the building.

Anyone with information should call police at 877-373-8477.

—  David Taffet

Resource Center’s Cece Cox attends White House ‘fiscal cliff’ meeting

RCD CEO Cece Cox, right, at the White House with Texas ACLU Executive Director Terri Burke.

Resource Center Dallas CEO Cece Cox is in Washington, D.C. today at a meeting called “Working together to avoid the fiscal cliff” with about 70 other community leaders from Texas.

The main issue of concern is money for HIV/AIDS programs. Should automatic cuts go into effect, Ryan White money and programs would be affected. An automatic 9 percent funding cut would also affect HOPWA and ADAP programs. HOPWA is housing money that could impact AIDS Services of Dallas and other programs that subsidize rent. ADAP pays for HIV medication for those who cannot afford it.

“When it comes down to people’s lives, there should be no compromise,” said RCD Communications and Advocacy Manager Rafael McDonnell. “These monies are priorities for people living with HIV, and we should be mindful of how important these programs are to members of our community.”

More than 14,000 people in Texas receive their medication through the ADAP program. About 1,300 people could be removed from the program with an automatic funding cut.

The meeting was called by the White House Office of Public Engagement. The White House has been meeting with corporate and civic leaders all week to put pressure on Congress to reach a compromise on taxes and spending.

—  David Taffet

There’s still time to win a grand in the Top Hat photo contest!

Time is running out to win money. We’re not joking.

You know how EASY it is to win $1,000 for charity? Pretty damn easy! Get some kind of hat. It can be a beret. Or a snood. Or a box of oatmeal cereal. Then find a head. It can be bald. Or teased  and treated. Or on a dog. Then get a camera — even a smartphone. And take a snapshot. THAT’S IT. After that, just email it to TopHat@dallasvoice.com with the name of your nonprofit by Friday. We’ll whittle the entries down to the top nine, and the winner (chosen by Voice readers) gets a photo of them in their hat on the cover of an issue in March and a donation made in their name.

OK you members of the Turtle Creek Chorale, or volunteers for DIFFA, or chefs who donate to the food pantry, or fundraisers for AIDS Arms or ASD or Black Tie. You don’t have to sell tickets, you don’t have to make a matching contribution, you don’t have to design a denim jacket. All you need to do is take a photo and make a grand for charity. If you’re email address ends with .org, you probably already work for an eligible agency. It’s like free money! Think how you can impress your boss!

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Thanksgiving meals served Wed. at Resource Center, Thurs. at Round-Up

Local AIDS service providers are offering Thanksgiving meals before the holiday, and the Texas Gay Rodeo Association and the Round-Up Saloon are making sure everyone gets a holiday meal on the holiday.

AIDS Interfaith Network‘s Daire Center provided a big holiday meal last weekend and another today.

For Resource Center Dallas, Wednesday is the day of the holiday meal. RCD has a daily lunch program on weekdays but the Thanksgiving lunch will be elaborate and open to the public.

“It’s longer than normal because demand is increasing every year,” RCD Communications and Advocacy Manager Rafael McDonnell said.

McDonnell said they will not be checking client IDs and everyone is welcome. Lunch will be served in the Rainbow Room where the program normally takes place — with coffee and desert in the Color Rooms.

“We have 12 turkeys, our own cornbread dressing and other traditional sides,” he said.

TGRA is serving Thanksgiving dinner at the Round-Up Saloon on Thursday. That dinner is open to the public.

“We wanted to do something special for the community,” said TGRA President Butch Compton.

He said he contacted AIN and RCD to tell them to send their clients. About 400 people are expected at the Round-Up.

Compton said everything’s donated. On Wednesday, volunteers are picking up pieces of the meal to prepare and cook at home. He said he has 30 turkeys, nine hams, 25 pies, 100 cupcakes and lots more. Donations of food are not needed but cash donations to help defray the costs are welcome.

“We reached out to friends and family,” Compton said.

Any money that doesn’t go toward the meal, he said, would go to RCD, AIN or Legacy Counseling Center.

Volunteers are still needed. To volunteer, send an email to Compton.

—  David Taffet

RCD volunteers set up shirt booth on Cedar Springs for Sandy victims

Hurricane Sandy damage in West Hempstead, Long Island

A group of Resource Center Dallas volunteers will be on the Strip today through Saturday selling T-shirts to benefits victims of Hurricane Sandy.

Sharon Thomas and a few friends who volunteer at the center’s food pantry came up with the idea. They created shirt designs and will be selling them in front of Hunky’s.

Shirts are $15 each or two for $25. People can also donate cash or spare change if they don’t want to buy a shirt. The proceeds of the shirts will go to Red Cross for the hurricane relief efforts.

“I felt like this is something I could do,” she said, adding that her friends knew people in New York who were affected and they wanted to do something. “This is a way that I can give something.”

Sales start today at 5 p.m. and run through Saturday evening, beginning at 5 p.m. each night.

—  Anna Waugh

Donation allows Resource Center to upgrade dental clinic equipment

Resource Center CEO Cece Cox, left, is shown with Ed Wakin, who donated new dental equipment that will make the delivery of dental services more efficient for the center’s clients.

Resource Center Dallas dedicated new equipment Thursday in its dental suite that will make delivery of service more efficient and will allow its dentists to serve more clients.

The new digital equipment cuts out the 20-minute processing time and eliminates the need for disposal of chemicals, said Resource Center Dallas CEO Cece Cox. Electronic storage of information becomes more efficient and saves space.

“We can diagnose and treat earlier,” Dr. LaShawn Shaw said.

Shaw said if she needs to refer a patient to another dentist for an additional procedure, the digital X-rays can be emailed. She said this machine also exposes the patient to less radiation than traditional dental X-ray machines.

Ed Wakin made the donation for the purchase of the equipment.

“I was just seeing what Resource Center did,” he said. “I was so impressed. We discussed the needs and it took me about 10 minutes to make the decision to help with this gift.”

“People forget how important oral health is to overall health,” Shaw said. She said dental health is important for people with HIV to have proper nutrition. It’s also hard for someone with HIV to return to the workforce if they can’t talk and present well.

—  David Taffet