Gina Quattrochi, Who Helped Provide Housing for AIDS Patients, Dies at 63


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Gina Quattrochi in 2014 at a gala in support of Bailey House, which she helped turn into the nation’s largest provider of housing to people with AIDS.

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Bennett Raglin/WireImage

Gina Quattrochi, who turned Bailey House into the nation’s largest provider of housing to people with AIDS and a model for similar organizations around the United States, died on Dec. 13 in Manhattan. She was 63.

The cause was multiple myeloma, Priscilla Lenes, her former partner, said.

Ms. Quattrochi (pronounced kwa-TROH-key) became involved in the AIDS crisis in the mid-1980s while serving as the associate general counsel for the New York State Nurses Association, a union with 30,000 members at the time.

“I was doing that job for a number of years and started losing a number of friends to the AIDS epidemic,” she said in a 2010 interview with the website Dot 429. “I really felt that I wanted to do something to change the course of the epidemic that was affecting a lot of my friends.”

In 1986 she became a board member of the AIDS Resource Center, founded three years earlier to provide housing and other support for homeless people with AIDS. She led the negotiations with the city to acquire the former hotel on Christopher Street in the West Village that became Bailey House (later renamed Bailey-Holt House), the first group residence for people with AIDS.

Five years later, she left the nurses’ association to become the AIDS Resource Center’s chief executive, a position she held for the next 25 years.

“I was well over my head quickly,” Ms. Quattrochi told Albany Law magazine in 2008. “I thought I knew everything as a lawyer, but running an organization that served people with AIDS was a whole other undertaking. I learned to be humble.”

Under her leadership, the organization, renamed Bailey House in 1995, grew from a small housing agency with an annual budget of $3.5. million into an organization with an annual budget of $18 million, serving 1,800 people in New York living with H.I.V. or AIDS and providing a wide variety of services.

It expanded its operation to East Harlem, opening the East Harlem Services Center on Park Avenue near 122nd Street, in 1999, and Schafer Hall, a 91-unit housing center on East 118th Street, in 2001.

She was particularly effective in convincing policy makers of the connection between homelessness and the risk of H.I.V. infection, and the importance of stable housing in any effort to tackle AIDS and H.I.V.

“The work is important,” she told Albany Law magazine. “The battles change and the political climate changes. The epidemic still rages in many parts of the country, including New York City and all over the world.”

Regina Rosaria Quattrochi was born on April 22, 1953, in Queens. Her father, Joseph, was a New York State Supreme Court officer. Her mother, the former Madeleine Kinsler, was a homemaker.

She graduated from Mary Louis Academy, a Roman Catholic school, in 1971, and earned a degree in English from the State University of New York at Albany in 1975 and a law degree from Albany Law School in 1978.

She practiced labor law for four years with Jackson, Lewis, Schnitzler & Krupman, representing employers, before becoming associate general counsel for Cerebral Palsy Associations of New York State. After three years she left to join the nurses’ association.

She helped found the National AIDS Housing Coalition in 1993, serving as president for three years, and in 2011 became a founding member of the 30 for 30 Campaign, which advocates on behalf of women living with and affected by H.I.V., including transgender women. The campaign’s name refers to the number of years that the AIDS crisis had lasted by 2011 and the percentage of women in the total number of AIDS cases.

In 2014, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo appointed her to a task force with the mission of reducing H.I.V. infection by identifying people with H.I.V. and AIDS, whether diagnosed or not, and linking them with health care providers.

Ms. Quattrochi was an adjunct associate professor at New York University’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service from 1995 to 2006.

She is survived by a daughter, Anna Lenes, and a son, Giovanni Quattrochi, both of whom she raised with Ms. Lenes.

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