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Gay and Green on the Northside

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Chicago is now home to one of the largest community centers for gays and lesbians in the nation.

Chicago Public Radio’s Sonari Glinton has the story.

Chicago has had a variety of gay community centers in a variety of locations.

Leaders in the community say bringing them together in one place has been a years long struggle.

The Center on Halsted in Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood.will house a number of services meant to support the city’s gay, lesbian and transgendered community.

Alderman Tom Tunney is the city council’s only openly gay member.

He says the center has been a long time coming.

TUNNEY: This was happening in the 80’s. This would have happened years ago if the AIDS epidemic did not hit so hard in Chicago and this nation. Half of the guys I came out with are dead.

In addition to its social services, the 65,000 square foot center is also winning praise as a model for green technology, including a roof garden and an organic grocery store.

I’m Sonari Glinton, Chicago Public Radio.

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