Casa Ruby, the LGBT community services center with a special outreach to transgender people and LGBT immigrants, will be opening an office in Hyattsville, Md. in early November, where it expects to provide services to clients in Prince George’s and nearby Montgomery Counties, according to Casa Ruby founder and executive director Ruby Corado.
Corado told the Washington Blade this week that Casa Ruby is also working out final details for a lease to move its D.C. headquarters into a building at 7520 George Ave, N.W., near the former Walter Reed Army Hospital that will be more than five times larger than its current building.
The current building at 2822 George Ave., N.W., which is a few miles south of the new building, has served as Casa Ruby’s home since Corado opened it in 2012 in what she said was her dream of providing a safe space for the LGBT community’s most vulnerable members.
“We’re consolidating everything there,” said Corado in discussing the new building. “It used to be a church. It’s huge,” she said. “It has space for a large drop-in center. We’re going to expand our shelters in the winter,” Corado added, for LGBT homeless youth. “We’re going to bring all of the D.C. programs we have over there.”
She said she was hopeful Casa Ruby would complete its move into the new building by the end of this year while renovation work to upgrade the building continued.
“I want to make it the best facility in the city,” she said. “So we’re going to have to raise the money to make this a top of the line facility. We’re bringing showers. We’re bringing a new laundry center. We’re bringing a meal center. We’re bringing in all of these things that people need right now.”
The Hyattsville office is located in an eclectic office building at 7411 Riggs Road, whose tenants include doctor and dentists’ offices, a hair salon, travel agents, certified public accountants, and an acupuncturist among many others.
“It’s going to be an extension of Casa Ruby’s work,” Corado said. “We’re going to be doing HIV prevention and care. We’re going to be brining social services and support groups.”
Corado said she’s confident that funds needed to operate Casa Ruby’s expanded facilities and programs will be raised through contributors that have given to the organization in the past, including generous individual donors, private foundations and city grants and contracts.
She said Casa Ruby now has 48 employees and more than 200 volunteers with a current budget of $1.8 million.