The William Way LGBT Community Center is open 365 days a year to serve the Greater Philadelphia region's community of sexual and gender minorities through service, recreational, educational and cultural programming.
The William Way LGBT Community Center seeks to encourage, support, and advocate for the well-being and acceptance of sexual and gender minorities through service, educational, recreational, and cultural programming.
Founded in 1976 as the Gay Community Center of Philadelphia the William Way Community Center has a 35 year history of serving the LGBT community in the Philadelphia region.
The Center purchased its current building in 1997, and the building opened to the public in July 1997. Since then, the Center has developed an array of programming which include:
* Community Services
* Cultural and Educational Programs
* Social and Recreational Programs
* Venue Services
Additionally, 14 community based organizations call the Center home, over 85 more use the venue on a regular basis. The building is open seven days a week and is currently used by over 4,500 people each month
Who was William Way?
Known as simply "Bill" to many in the community, he was loved for his compassion, courage and generosity of spirit. He was an openly gay man at a time when coming out of the closet often had severe consequences.
Bill Way was a longtime city employee who, working with the Redevelopment Authority and the Office of Housing and Community Development, over saw the construction of affordable housing throughout the city, including Washington Square West, where he lived.
He was also an advocate for our community, and a strong proponent of creating change by bringing people together. Bill played a key role in the establishment of Penguin Place, our predecessor. Even as his life came to an abrupt end due to AIDS, he continued to spend many hours working on the first AIDS walk and Penguin Place.
Way's life was about two ideas: building the city and strengthening the city. How appropriate it seems then that his name graces this building, an architectural gem we are bringing back to life in the growing heart of our community.
Peer Counseling; The John J. Wilcox, Jr., Library & Archives; Senior Programs; Art Gallery; Way Gay U Adult Learning; PhilaVentures Recreational Group; Social Groups.