Just two days after opening its doors, an organization providing services to Southern California's Latino LGBT and HIV/AIDS communities claims it was evicted from its new location last month with the landlord saying they were 'bringing disease' to the building.
Bienestar says it had negotiated a three-year lease in the building in Van Nuys located in the San Fernando Valley region of Los Angeles. The center was fully operational for just two days when the landlord demanded they vacate the premises and that the lease had been terminated.
Oscar De La O, president and CEO of Bienestar says the organization has been treated unfairly.'
'The landlord's actions are a shocking example of the kind of LGBT and HIV/AIDS discrimination that Bienestar has committed itself to fight against and overcome since we started serving the community in 1989,' De La O said in a statement. 'This situation is very unexpected and distressing, especially when we have performed these same services half a block down the street from this Van Nuys location for 12 years.'
De La O added that Bienestar had never before faced this kind of situation before at any of its nine centers in Southern California.
'We are deeply committed to stopping all forms of LGBT and HIV/AIDS discrimination,' he said.
The landlord could not be reached by Gay Star News on Monday (3 September).
For now, Bienestar will be offering some services in Van Nuys from its mobile unit, including case management, rapid HIV testing, referrals and linkages to other social services. The mobile unit will be temporarily stationed in front of its previous location, 14515 Hamlin St., Van Nuys, CA 91411. Services will be available every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 11 am to 3 pm.