This fund will support the effort to save the house and establish a queer urban land trust, Radical Faerie community events at Grand Central, and eviction defense, if necessary.
Support an urban faerie oasis.
The Radical Faerie collective house Grand Central is so many things to so many people: an urban oasis for queer community, a waystation on the faerie underground railroad, a sanctuary to travelers and the unhoused, and a welcoming home in the midst of the Castro. We host weekly heart circles and potlucks, birthday parties, sex parties, and pagan rituals. Our couchsurfers include queer artists, activists, organizers, shamans, and long-term sanctuary residents seeking temporary or long-term asylum in the city. At the epicenter of the nation’s most gay neighborhood, just down the street from Harvey Milk’s historic camera shop, we have made our home into a center of community, spirit and activism. Your charitable donation helps establish a fund to keep our work going.
Another queer space could soon be lost to gentrification
All of these activities may soon come to an end: not because they are not needed, but because the building is at risk of sale. The most likely future for a building like this on the Castro strip is condo conversion. An unscrupulous developer could have the tenants out within a year and even build two additional units in the rear of the property. Yet these units would come at the cost of Grand Central’s eviction, as well as the further loss of San Francisco’s limited and dwindling rent-controlled housing supply. The building’s condoization would result in the further gentrification, normalization, and straightening of the Castro. Your charitable donation helps establish a legal defense fund to protect against eviction.
Faeries and friends, let’s just buy it ourselves!
We propose purchasing the building through a non-profit land trust which would:
- Preserve the rent-controlled units as affordable LGBT cooperative housing;
- Identify a qualified team to operate the downstairs restaurant space after a collaborative transition with the current owners;
- Keep existing residential tenants in their homes;
- Manage the building in accord with a mission to provide affordable space in the Castro for LGBTQ community co-creators, particularly transpeople, queer people of color, elders and people with HIV.
With the San Francisco Community Land Trust, which helps operate 13 other land trusts in San Francisco, we are raising capital for an offer on the building. The owner has pulled the building from the market temporarily while we organize, but we don't have much time. We have received pledges of up to $250k from friends and neighbors who want to see a more colorful, queerer future for the Castro. Our estimate is that if we raise $800k, we are likely to be able to land financing for the rest.
You may be wondering why we're crowdsourcing $10k when we're raising so much more. The reality is that the larger gifts are handled differently and are only for the direct cost of the real estate. In addition, many small donations and reshares will help us spread the story of the project and demonstrate public support. Your charitable donation, in any amount, tells potential donors and stakeholders how important spaces like ours are to the LGBTQ community.
Beyond Grand Central: We must protect urban queer space.
We are collaborating with a coalition of LGBTQ community leaders and activists to establish a Queer Land Trust, which will provide organizational and fundraising capacity to acquire a series of properties for permanent affordable LGBTQ housing in vital queer neighborhoods such as Compton’s TLGB Cultural District, Folsom Leather District, and the Castro. Join the email list for updates. Your support keeps queer community space possible.
*** If you are in a position to help with downpayment fundraising or financing, we have several options available to facilitate larger gifts and investment at a modest return. Please write to firstname.lastname@example.org ***
This fundraiser is a project of Nomenus, a registered 501(c)3 charitable organization. All donations are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law. The project is managed according to existing Nomenus fiscal policy and transparency around expenses is available upon request. Thanks to support from pinkstart and Stripe, we will receive 100% of donations made.