The Callen-Lorde Community Health Center was founded in 1983. Then known as the Community Health Project (CHP), it was established as a result of the merger of the St. Mark’s Community Clinic, and the Gay Men’s Health Project, two clinics that provided screening and treatment for sexually transmitted diseases. Begun as a mostly volunteer-staffed, episodic care program, Callen-Lorde remains the New York metropolitan area’s only health care center geared primarily to the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) communities and those living with HIV/AIDS. Its services are vital to LGBT persons, as these individuals often face discrimination in the mainstream medical community, and, as a result, do not receive adequate medical care.
Callen-Lorde opened a new, state-of-the-art facility in March 1998 at 356 West 18th St in Manhattan. It is a 27,000 square foot, Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliant, fully licensed New York State Department of Health Article 28 Diagnostic and Treatment Center. Callen-Lorde now offers primary and specialty medical services, including a continuum of integrated HIV/AIDS care, mental health services, an oral health clinic, case management, and the HOTT (Health Outreach to Teens) program. HOTT is the only comprehensive medical and social services program targeting LGBT and questioning youth—often runaways, homeless, or squatters as well – in the streets of New York. All of Callen-Lorde’s services are provided in a sensitive, non-judgmental environment and, in keeping with the agency’s mission, are offered regardless of ability to pay.
In 2010, Callen-Lorde provided over 75,000 patient visits, and the uninsured accounted for 45% of all patients served. $5M of unreimburseable services were provided to our patients without health insurance.