NEW YORK(CBSNewYork) — A senior center in Greenwich Village has been in the same spot for years, but now it may have to move.
For many the center has been like a second home.
Ann Gottlieb, 77, comes to the senior center at Our Lady of Pompeii, Catholic Church, to make arts and crafts. She can’t imagine life without the center.
“It’s a wonderful opportunity to meet people our own age, and is a haven for people who don’t have family,” she told CBS2’s Dick Brennan.
The center is run by Greenwich House, and has been serving seniors meals, providing entertainment and games, and even some health services for 40 years, but now it claims the church is trying to push them out.
Greenwich House pays $2,000 a month in rent, and the Archdiocese said that the pastor, Walter Tonelotto, said that it costs the parish much more.
Executive Director Roy Leavitt said that when he met with the pastor about renewing the lease the pastor indicated that he could get more money from film companies.
Leavitt said that he offered to be more flexible on various issues, but to no avail.
“He just repeated his position and at the end said, ‘you guys gotta find a new location,'” Leavitt said.
Officials at the Archdiocese of New York told CBS2 that they spoke to the pastor and were told otherwise.
“The senior center has not been asked to move,” he reportedly said.
Leavitt produced a letter that he said was from the pastor, dated dated September 23, in which he writes:
“I am writing to give you enough time to plan in advance, so that come June 15, 2015, you will have another place for this group of seniors.”
“In the letter he says he is not going to renew the lease, and we should find a new location,” Leavitt explained.
The Archdiocese wanted to emphasize that all the new information they had was based on what the pastor told them.
Now, having seen the letter the Archdiocese plans to look into the matter further.
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