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Queens Chronicle

The truth about Pride House

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Posted: Thursday, March 28, 2013 10:30 am | Updated: 11:06 am, Thu Mar 28, 2013.

Dear Editor:

We would like to address a number of inaccuracies in your March story “Why Queens Pride House lacks city funding.”

The central issue of the news story was the question of why Queens Pride House currently receives no discretionary funding from the Council members quoted in it, despite having received discretionary funding from other City Council members from 2003 through 2010. The reporter simply failed to explain that discretionary funding is just that — purely discretionary — instead leaving readers with the misleading impression that the two Council members quoted in her article rejected our funding requests based on objective standards of the sort that state and city agencies use to award contracts.

The reporter also asserts that one of the two Council members who blocked funding for Pride House through the Council’s LGBT Caucus in 2010 did not fund the Bronx Community Pride Center when in fact he did — through the Caucus — as clearly documented in public records. She also failed to note that the same Council member who funded BCPC was a disgruntled QPH board member who left our board in 1999 after losing the support of his board colleagues. Nonetheless, those Council members are welcome to tour our site and meet our staff and volunteers and see for themselves what we are providing the community.

The article also prominently featured inaccurate assertions from a disgruntled former employee who worked for Queens Pride House until he was dismissed at the end of December 2012, but the writer denied us an opportunity to respond before filing her story. In fact, Queens Pride House provides various services including health education, health promotion and disease prevention and mental health counseling, but your reporter failed to mention our university-based mental health counseling program, advertised in the very same issue of the Chronicle.

Queens Pride House programs and services are funded by competitively won and renewed contracts from the city and state of New York and foundations, as well as from corporate and individual donations. Those programs and services are required to be evidence-based and meet standards set by our funders. In failing to describe the full range of programs and services that we provide to the community — including 4,900 individual client services a year — your reporter helped create an inaccurate picture of the organization; unfortunately, her story does not measure up to the high standards of journalism the Chronicle is known for.

Pauline Park, president
Audwin Edwards, vice president
Sara Gillen, secretary
Charles J. Ober, treasurer
Kleber Jalon
Itala Ruttter
Queens Pride House Board of Trustees
Jackson Heights

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