New Women Space, an intersectional community organization space led by women, people of color, and members of the LGBTQIA+ community, has been tasked with moving out of their longtime location at 188 Woodpoint Road by July 22 as per their landlord, who is selling the building.

New Women Space has been at the location since 2016. Despite the disruption—being another addition to the growing trend of businesses forced to move out of the neighborhood or close entirely—owner Michelle Alerte remains cautiously optimistic and has no plans to shutter their mission for good, but rather find a new spot elsewhere in Brooklyn.

Alerte, who stepped into the ownership role in 2020, got the idea for starting a GoFundMe from friend and fellow community organizer Jeanette González-Benavides, founder of Kultura Dyad.

“I think just naturally being a woman, and a Black woman as well, I didn’t think to ask for help. And I was speaking to Jeanette, who’s hosted events at my space, and when I let her know what was happening, she was like, ‘Oh, we can maybe create a donation event, a fundraiser at the space for you, and things like that,'” Alerte recalled. “And that’s sort of what helped me to realize, ‘Oh, okay. I don’t have to just quietly figure it out on my own.”

And the community support has only grown from there, which Alerte, as a self-described “planner” finds even more comforting as she works to find a new physical home for New Women Space.

“Obviously there was the initial shock [of the news] that took a bit to process. It is a very fast turnaround. But, you know, I’m also just reminding myself that this is nothing dangerous,” Alerte reasoned. “I have to just remind myself that no matter what, they can’t take my business from me. Sure, I may have to like take a second to regroup, but I’m able to—when I’m ready—get back out and keep going.”

An event unfolding at New Women Space. Image via GoFundMe campaign.

And those plans also include visions of what she wants the new space to look like, and be, for everyone. The goal is to find somewhere larger, ideally where everyone can congregate on one floor (they have two at their current location) and even more people can join their programming of panels, speed dating events, info sessions, and more, as well as renting the space for private events. Alerte also always aims to keep accessibility and safety in mind, not just when people are inside the space itself, but when getting to and from it particularly via transit.

“I definitely wanted to make sure that I’m somewhere that’s easily accessible and close to train that is safe. I want people to feel safe when they’re walking home or coming to an event, you know?” Alerte noted.

The GoFundMe has currently raised $1,789 of its $5,000 goal in the ten days its been active, and for that, Alerte is grateful.

“I am very grateful for the support and help that I have been getting from the community. It’s nice to feel the support from being a business that has been around since 2016, you know? So it does feel encouraging,” Alerte said.

You can help New Women Space by donating here.

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