BRONX, NEW YORK, June 27- The Bronx’s only gay community center will close its doors for good on Saturday in the wake of the scandal in which its former director has been charged with embezzling over $300,000.
Lisa Winters, former executive director of the Bronx Community Pride Center was indicted last week on charges that she used $338,000 in center funds to pay for such items as a trip to South Africa, clothes, personal expenses including a dog walker.
The Bronx Community Pride Center has released the following statement:
The board of directors of the Bronx Community Pride Center (BCPC), the borough’s largest LGBTQ service organization, has unanimously voted to cease operations of the center on June 30, 2012 and to begin making arrangements for current services to be provided by partner organizations within the Bronx.
Due to BCPC’s current economic difficulties, past debt and inability to raise sufficient unrestricted funding, the organization can no longer implement its current programs. The organization has debts which exceed revenues at this time and without significant cash infusions from major donors they are unable to continue operations financially.
The Board of Directors is committed to assisting in any way to make sure that our clients continue to be served, especially since this population is traditionally under served in the Bronx. We’re a group of caring individuals and this decision has been difficult for us to make but we will never give up for our mission of heath equality.
“As BCPC closes I ask that all Bronx LGBTQ organizations come together and fill the void that would be left behind. The Board of Directors is committed to assisting in any way to make sure that our clients continue to be served, especially since this population is traditionally under served in the Bronx. We’re a group of caring individuals and this decision has been difficult for us to make, but we will never give up for our mission of heath equality,” said Antonio Centeno Jr., BCPC Board Chairperson.
The Bronx Community Pride Center is a non-for-profit organization which was incorporated in 1997 as the Bronx Lesbian and Gay Health Resource Consortium. Around 2005/2006 the name and mission was changed and the agency then became a community center. The organization is a lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (“LGBT”) center that provides direct supportive and case management services including educational, cultural and wellness programs to nurture and support members of our community. They provide training and education opportunities to help train future leaders which will promote the heath of the LGBT community.
A terrible day for the Bronx LGBT community.