New York, NY- Monday, June 1st, 2009 – Bailey House held its dedication ceremony for The Rand Harlan Center for Housing, Wellness and Community at 1751 Park Avenue between 121st and 122nd Streets in East Harlem.
Rand Harlan Skolnick was a beloved part of Bailey House, having served on its Board of Directors for 2 decades until his passing in 2008. Bailey House CEO, Regina Quattrochi, and Bailey House Board Chairman, Jeffrey Schneider, lead the dedication with words of affection for their dear friend. “Rand had the ability to make friends with everyone he met, but also had a deep understanding of the importance to befriend someone in need”, remembered Mr. Schneider.
Ms. Quattrochi told those in attendance, “Bailey House has always gone where the AIDS epidemic is worst. In 1999, we opened our first AIDS program in East Harlem and since then have served thousands of people living with HIV/AIDS from the neighborhood and surrounding communities. Today with the opening of our Rand Harlan Center for Housing, Wellness and Community we open our doors even wider as HIV infection rates, poverty and homelessness ravages lives and communities. We are excited to expand our program space, food pantry and launch new administrative offices from this new site, which will allow us to expand our housing and services, both proven component of HIV/AIDS care and prevention.”
The brand new multi-service community center is an expansion of Bailey House’s services in East Harlem, which formally began in 1997, bringing confidential, bilingual drop-in services to HIV-positive individuals in the underserved communities of Harlem, East Harlem, and the Bronx. Although the issue of AIDS has almost vanished from public discourse, New York City remains the epicenter of an epidemic. Bailey House’s new site is dedicated to housing, education, prevention and care of HIV/AIDS in one of the neighborhoods hardest hit by the epidemic whose population remains at high risk for transmission. As part of its commitment to serving those in greatest need, Bailey House’s administrative offices will also be housed at the new site after many years in the Chelsea area. Our first property, Bailey-Holt House, opened in 1986 and remains a model of congregate housing in Greenwich Village.
Bailey House was honored to have Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer and former Borough President C. Virginia Fields, who now serves as the leader of the National Black Aids Coalition, joining them as well as representatives from the offices of the Honorable Keith Wright, the Honorable Inez Dickens, and the Honorable Dick Gottfried and Chiefs of Staff of the Honorable Adam Clayton Powell, IV and Congressman Charlie Rangel.
“According to the Department of Health, the age-adjusted death rate for HIV/AIDS patients in Harlem is nearly twice the rate of the rest of Manhattan. One of the most effective ways to solve this difficult problem is through hard work on the ground and in the neighborhood,” commented Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer. “I commend Bailey House for expanding its services through The Rand Harlan Center for Housing, Wellness and Community. This much-needed multi-service community center will serve the people of Harlem, East Harlem and the Bronx well, providing both critical services and support to HIV-positive individuals.”