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GMHC's Upcoming Move Creates Rifts With New York's HIV/AIDS Community

May 12, 2010

An update to the story below was posted on May 17.

As thousands of New Yorkers gear up for the annual AIDS Walk in Manhattan on May 16, Gay Men's Health Crisis (GMHC) -- the main recipient of donations from the event -- has come under heavy criticism.

On April 21, New York Magazine's Tim Murphy reported that the venerable HIV/AIDS service organization will be moving out of its building on West 24th Street and will settle into a new building near Penn Station on West 33rd Street:

Gay Men's Health Crisis, in the neighborhood since 1981 and in the multistory Tisch Building on West 24th Street since 1997, will be leaving as well, pending final agreement on a new lease. It's not going very far: only about ten blocks to the north and a few west. With its current lease up at the end of the year, the agency, which serves about 15,000 people with HIV/AIDS from all over the city, simply couldn't afford the rent hike from $6.4 million to $9 million, according to author-activist Larry Kramer (the current head of GMHC, Dr. Marjorie Hill, would not confirm these numbers). ...

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See Also
Community Members Step Up Pressure as GMHC Prepares to Respond
Open Letter to GMHC Community
GMHC Clients Rally Against Move; Hot Meals Will Not Be Discontinued
More News and Articles on HIV Groups and Medical Care in New York

Reader Comments:

Comment by: Pamela Payne Foster (Tuscaloosa, AL) Tue., May. 18, 2010 at 11:57 am EDT
Wow, the progression of HIV/AIDS in the U.S. has expanded into nonwhite nongay communities, not only in NY but in the rural South, where I live and serve. I applaude GHMC's move to begin to be more accessible and receptive to that changing demographic. The way I see it, the fight against HIV/AIDS is such a big and arduous task, we need the expertise and organization that GMHS has to offer.
Pamela Payne Foster, author of "Is there a balm in Black America?"
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Comment by: philip (new york city) Sat., May. 15, 2010 at 1:03 pm EDT
I attended the cab meeting which had Larry Kramer as a speaker about the proposed move.Even though his style of speaking was brash to say the least he was right on the mark on several things.Why did'nt the board put up a fight when they were turned down by several landlords simply because of the clients statis.Its illegal. They did'nt even put up a fight.Also when questioned what a expanded meals program would consist of she went into the redarick of basically concealing the truth. The truth is that our current chef will be replaced by chef boy ar dee. When questioned about the statement that the new site was conveniently located within three long avenues of the nearest train station she literally covered her face to hide her laughter.There were standing ovations on every word that Larry Kramer spoke.He let them have it. It was good to see someone tell it like it is.Many A.S.O.s have been taken over by ceo's who are just interested in the placement of funding .These organizations have become to business oriented and have lost or forgotten the reason people started these organizations in the first place.What needs to happen is to have all A.S.O.s come together for one common goal instead of individualistic ideas of what there particular org. should be about.Separation of power just weakens our stand for funding so desperately needed for services.We could learn alot from a man like Larry Kramer.The problem seems to be no one is listening.If G.M.H.C. moves and changes there meals program me and many other people will definately go else where.In the end they will lose money in the long run instead of any gains.
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Comment by: edfu (NYC) Thu., May. 13, 2010 at 5:46 pm EDT

This article is grossly outdated without reference to the major May 7 statement from Larry Kramer, linked above: "An Important Cry from the Heart for Help." The exceedingly dire consequences of the shocking move engineered by the current leadership of GMHC are given in detail there.
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