New mobile health center expands care to city streets – amNewYork

A new mobile health center offering HIV testing, drug overdose prevention, counseling and other services was unveiled in Manhattan Tuesday. 

The vehicle is part of Planned Parenthood of New York City’s Project Street Beat, which has been providing health care and support to New Yorkers who live and work on city streets for three decades. The program received funding from the City Council to replace its old mobile center with the one unveiled Tuesday.

“We know many New Yorkers, especially LGBTQ communities, communities of color, and marginalized New Yorkers such as those experiencing homelessness, lack access,” said Laura McQuade, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of NYC. “This brings care to New Yorkers, to meet them where they are. Project Street Beat provides confidential, nonjudgmental care that quite literally saves lives.”

The program currently targets neighborhoods in central Brooklyn, upper Manhattan and the south Bronx, but will start to serve Jackson Heights in Queens and parts of Staten Island, a spokeswoman said. There are preliminary plans to get two more mobile centers this year, she added. 

McQuade was joined by Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, City Councilman Robert Cornegy and others at a news conference near City Hall Tuesday afternoon. 

“Today’s launch is the first stop for a center that will bring a wide variety of care to those who need it, no matter their neighborhood,” Williams said in a statement.

The new mobile center is wrapped in artwork by artist Keith Haring, who died of complications due to AIDS in 1990. 

“By placing Haring’s ebullient imagery on PSB’s mobile health center, we have created a partnership that honors both PPNYC and Keith Haring — while creating a safe and inviting space to all who seek support for sexual health, care and guidance,” said Julia Gruen, executive director of the Keith Haring Foundation.

The vehicle also features two soundproof counseling rooms and a wheelchair lift. A list of services and where to find the mobile center can be found on the www.plannedparenthood.org.