Local and Community News
New York: Free Legal Help Due for Immigrants With AIDS
October 22, 2002
Gay Men's Health Crisis is opening a clinic in Queens, N.Y., to provide legal services to people in the borough's large immigrant community who are living with HIV/AIDS. The new clinic, called the GMHC at Queens Pride House, will serve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in Queens who are immigrants and face the added challenges of language and cultural barriers, immigration issues, and stigmas.
"Because Queens has such a large immigrant population, we decided to partner with Queens Pride House," said Marty Algaze, a spokesperson for Manhattan-based GMHC. "Many are at risk of being deported because of their HIV status. We realized there was a need to open a satellite facility in Queens specifically to make these services available to the immigrant community."
Lawyers will assist clients mostly with immigration issues, but will also provide free counsel on landlord-tenant disputes, government entitlements, discrimination, estate planning, family law and other problems. Interns from City University of New York Law School at Queens College will assist on-site lawyers.
There will be an opening ceremony and reception held next Tuesday, Oct. 29, where City Councilmember Helen Sears (D-Jackson Heights) is expected to cut the ribbon. "Any program that can help meet the needs of a growing population needs to be encouraged," she said. "They have unique challenges."
In a statement, Queens Pride House Executive Director Raymond-Anthony Penko said, "There is a substantial population of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people living with HIV and AIDS in Queens that lacks easy access to legal services of this kind. The establishment of GMHC's program of legal services at Queens Pride House will help meet that need."
Daily News (New York City)
10.22.02; Robin Haas
This article was provided by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update. Visit the CDC's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.