Fire destroys center for young gay men

HIV prevention program R.E.C. Boyz now without home, supplies

By Jan Stevenson

DETROIT - For many young, gay black men there are few places they can call home, and it just got a little worse for them last week when the R.E.C. Boyz Center, a home-away-from-home for so many, was destroyed by a fire.

"Our program associates are very young men who are mostly from our client base," said Barbara Murray, executive director of AIDS Partnership Michigan. "They all looked just stunned. This had been their space."

The apparent electrical fire ignited sometime during the night of Aug. 17 and ravaged the R.E.C. Boyz Center, located at 1959 E. Jefferson in about 4,000 square feet of loft space. The center was located in a building about a block and a half from its parent organization, APM. No one was in the building at the time of the fire. The building is owned by an investor in New York and managed by Exclusive Realty in Detroit.

Although insurance will cover much of the tangible losses, Murray said it's the intangibles that will be the hardest to replace. All the HIV/AIDS counseling and testing supplies were destroyed, as were all office supplies, paper and R.E.C. Boyz organizational sweatshirts, book bags and T-shirts. The collection of used clothing available for young people is gone, as are the office computers and their files.

The three full-time R.E.C. Boyz staffers are being temporarily housed at APM's offices, and Murray said she is trying to secure a meeting space in the area so the programs can resume as soon as possible.

Now in its fourth year, The R.E.C. Boyz Project (R.E.C. is an acronym for Real Enough to Change) is an award-winning program, federally funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is considered to be one of the top-five HIV prevention programs in the country, targeting young black men between the ages of 13 and 24 who have sex with other men. It is based on a peer-driven model with about 150 youth participating at any given time. The focus is on HIV testing and counseling, both to educate and prevent HIV infection and to get any youth who test positive into treatment as quickly as possible.

If you would like to help the R.E.C. Boyz Center recover from this fire, go to and click on the red ribbon icon that says "I want to help the R.E.C. Boyz."

MI Marriage Trial

Michigan Same Sex Couples Demand Respect And Equal Treatment

Michigan Leaders React To Feds Recognition Of Marriages

MI Marriage: Schuette Asks For Full Appeals Court Review

The Stay Delayed Allows 315 Couples To Wed In State

Gay Marriage Defines Schuette's Reelection Campaign

Snyder Says Schuette Going Against Trend

Sixth Circuit Continues Stay

Michigan Marriage Ban Struck Down

Michigan Makes History With First Marriages

Elected Officials, Advocates Petition Schuette To Drop Marriage Aappeal

Pictures from Ingham County - Getting Married

Pictures from Oakland County Clerk's Office - Part 1

Pictures from the Oakland County Clerk's office - Part 2

Pictures from the Oakland County Clerk's Office - Part 3

Pictures from Washtenaw County

White Nationalist Group Files Brief Supporting AG's Appeal In Marriage Ruling

Discredited Witness Part Of Right-Wing Cabal

Schauer Celebrates Overturn Of Michigan Marriage Ban

Equality Michigan Circulating Petition to Drop Appeal

Why Are Governor Rick Snyder and Attorney General Bill Schuette Wasting Michigan Taxpayer Dollars On A Costly Appeal?

Michigan Marriage Ban Co-Author Goes 'Moral'

BTL's Wedding Expo: Like Pride in April

Snyder Says Marriages Invalid

Elected Officials, Advocates Petition Schuette To Drop Marriage Appeal

Request To Remove Stay Based On Process And Substance

Schuette Lies To Satisfy Political Base

DOCUMENTS: The decision, the stay, and more

BREAKING: Holder Asked To Recognize Michigan Marriages

Michigan Marriage Ban Ruled Unconstitutional

BREAKING: Sixth Circuit Court Of Appeals Issues Temporary Stay On Michigan Case

BREAKING: Same-Sex Couples Across Michigan Get Hitched

BREAKING: Judge Friedman Declares Michigan's Same-Sex Marriage Ban Unconstitutional

Judge Could Rule Late Today In Mich. Marriage Ban

Michigan Marriage Trial: And Now We Wait

Editor's Viewpoint: Our Long Journey To Justice

Federal Marriage Case Decisions Outside Michigan In Circuit Court of Appeals

Peers Distance Themselves As Regnerus Takes The Stand

Marriage Supporters, Protestors Brave Cold At Courthouse

Highlights From Michigan Same-Sex Marriage Hearing

Brown Says Schuette Instructed Clerks To Defy Court

Michigan Marriage Equality Trial Begins Second Week

Marriage Equality Trial Opens : Science v. Fear

Michigan Marriage Center Prepares State For The Possibility!

Michigan Marriage Case Begins

A Trial Full of Experts: Incredible and Not So Credible, In Hazel Park Case

like us on facebook follow us on twitter follow us on google+