By Jeremy Walsh
As Queens health facilities get a $30 million infusion of cash from the state, the borough’s population of homeless veterans is not being left out.
The same company that runs the Borden Avenue Veterans Residence in Long Island City is receiving $657,000 in HEAL NY funds to open a clinic next door, Gov. David Paterson announced Friday.
The Borden Avenue clinic will provide outpatient services to approximately 3,200 people each year, focusing on those who are homeless and those with behavioral disorders and other special populations, officials at the nonprofit Institute for Community Living said. The clinic is expected to open in 2011.
The clinic will also conduct outreach to local elderly and immigrant residents, ICL said.
The facility is leased from the city Department of Homeless Services, which has agreed to contribute an additional $100,000 to the project.
“There is a vital need for a multi-specialty ambulatory care program in Queens that can address the routine and urgent health needs of homeless New Yorkers,” DHS Commissioner Robert Hess said in a statement.
The clinic will sport two medical examination rooms and two dental exam rooms, officials said. It will offer walk-in and next-day appointments and be open during weekend and evening hours, generating approximately 12,000 visits in 2011, its first full year of operation, and 16,000 in 2012, the ICL said.
“These soldiers deserve every ounce of care we can provide in an effort to have them integrate back into the community,” ICL President Peter Campanelli said in a statement. “Rather than what occurs in the currently fragmented health-care system, people will be treated by a health team that integrates medical and psychiatric approaches.”
Community Board 2 Chairman Joseph Conley was hesitant to say much about the new clinic because the board had not been briefed yet, but he agreed the population could use better care options.
“People really need help within the building, so it’s really a positive thing for the veterans,” he said.
The problems of homeless veterans in Queens was last highlighted in September 2008, when a homeless veteran who had previously stayed at the Borden Avenue shelter was arrested on suspicion of murdering a Long Island City man outside the man’s home. The suspect was not a shelter resident at the time of the murder.
Reach reporter Jeremy Walsh by e-mail at email@example.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 154.