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GMHC responds, rebuts move complaints

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New York’s largest AIDS service provider has answered the community’s questions and complaints about a potential move to a new location …. but activists say their issues STILL have not been addressed.

‘Gay Men’s Health Crisis’ says it is being forced to leave the city’s primary gay neighborhood, to go to a new building which clients say will be far less convenient, and force it to change or even cut its services. GMHC says its current landlord is planning to hike the rent by as much as 33 percent, so a move is necessary.

But last month, an advisory board made up of GMHC clients said the new building will be inadequate. The board singled out several issues – including its location, the inability to have a full kitchen, no capacity for testing, and the requirement that GMHC Clients use a separate entrance from the rest of the building’s tenants.

In a flyer distributed this week, GMHC attempted to address these issues. About convenience, GMHC says it is pursuing a shuttle service. Regarding the kitchen, the group says it will continue to provide “hot, nutritious and balanced meals.” As for healthcare and testing services, the group says, “In the coming months we will work with all of our clients to ensure that this move does not interrupt their vitally important connection to medical care.” And GMHC says the separate entrance is a PLUS – calling it “highly desirable” and “an unqualified benefit.”

But Marcelo Maia who chairs the advisory board says GMHC still has not provided any specifics. He told OutQ News the consumer advisory board has requested a feasibility study of the new location, but has not gotten a response. He said GMHC has given “no concrete response because they don’t have the answers.”

GMHC’s lease at its current location expires on December 31st of this year.

–Aaron McQuade in New York

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Written by OutQ News staff

June 4, 2010 at 2:00 PM

Posted in Health, HIV

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