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Queens Chronicle

Support Club Pride

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Posted: Wednesday, November 27, 2013 10:30 am

Dear Editor:

Queens has a rapidly growing elderly population facing severe problems, such as mental illness. Fortunately, there’s a place where many troubled seniors get help — Club Pride, part of the Pride of Judea Mental Health Center at 243-02 Northern Blvd. in Douglaston.

Funded by the Jewish Board of Family & Children’s Services and New York City’s Dept. of Mental Health & Hygiene, Club Pride (launched in 1997) is a geriatric psycho-social club. It provides counseling, therapy and social re-adjustment services for Queens residents, from 55 to 94, who suffer from mental illness & substance abuse. Clients come from Flushing, Kew Gardens Hills, Whitestone, College Point & Bayside.

They’re referred by psychiatrists and other mental health providers, after their discharge from psychiatric and chronic care hospitals. If not for Club Pride, many of them would have to be reinstitutionalized, at a heavy cost to taxpayers.

Club Pride provides daily transportation to members via two buses for the Flushing and Bayside areas. But Flushing bus service will end on Dec. 6 due to budget cuts. Many riders are physically disabled. They can’t use public transportation and can’t afford Access-A-Ride’s daily $5 roundtrip fare. They’re distressed by the fear of losing Club Pride’s vital assistance.

Don’t let this happen. Contact U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer (212) 486-4430, Congresswoman Grace Meng (718) 445-7860, State Sen. Tony Avella (718) 357-3094, City Councilman Mark Weprin (718) 468-0137 and Mayor-Elect Bill de Blasio (212) 669-7200. Urge them to save an essential resource for their constituents.

Richard Reif

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