Club Pride, a successful mental health program for Queens seniors, officially closes on June 30. But the actual end date for most members was March 13 when van service ended.
They won't be able to attend because they can't afford or are unable to use mass transit. Many are upset and uncertain about their future.
Club Pride began in 1998 as a unique psycho-social program for folks 55 and older, run by the Pride of Judea in Douglaston and funded by the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.
More than 1,200 people suffering from mental illness were put on the path to recovery over the past 20 years. Psychiatrists and therapists throughout Queens referred patients to the program.
But a dispute with the city prompted the closure of Club Pride, abandoning some of its most vulnerable clients.
However, Club Pride may be saved if the largest institution that refers patients steps in. Northwell Health's Hillside-Zucker Geriatric Psychiatry Center in Glen Oaks uses Club Pride as a support system for discharged patients.
Why can't Northwell Health fund Club Pride? It owns 22 hospitals, employs 61,000 staffers and runs a $4 million television ad campaign. Club Pride's operating costs would hardly put a dent in that huge budget.
Kew Gardens Hills