CHICAGO- Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced $2.55 million in grants to 17 community based organizations across Illinois to provide housing services for individuals living with HIV/AIDS. This is an increase of $125,000 from grants awarded last year. The grants will be used to provide lodging and meals to residents; rehabilitation and facility repair; operating costs including maintenance, security, insurance, utility, furnishings, equipment and supplies; and supportive services such as case management, mental health counseling and substance abuse treatment.
“People fighting HIV/AIDS shouldn’t have to make a choice between being able to afford the medications they need, or being able to pay for basic living expenses like rent and food. In the last four years, we have increased funding for those living with this disease by 70 percent. These grants are one more way in which we’re helping making sure that those living with HIV/AIDS have a stable living environment in which to better fight this disease,” said Gov. Blagojevich.
“Housing is an important piece of containing the HIV epidemic by ensuring that low-income people living with HIV are in a safe living environment,” said Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. Eric E. Whitaker. “These housing grants are necessary for the Illinois Department of Public Health’s efforts in addressing health disparities and ensuring equitable access to services for people living with HIV/AIDS.”
“The funding announced by the Governor will allow us to expand resident services including increasing the nutrition program, adding necessary counseling and groups,” said Phoenix Center Executive Director Jonna J. Cooley, M.A. “In addition, we plan to make improvements to the building, including a handicap accessible resident room on the main floor, renovations to existing bathrooms, and upgrades to the resident rooms. This money allows us to provide a homelike, supportive environment and quality services to the community’s homeless who are HIV positive.”
“According to a recent study, people who are not properly housed are sixteen times more likely to have HIV/AIDS,” said Reverend Stan Sloan, Chicago House and Social Services Agency Chief Executive Officer. “The need for HIV/AIDS housing continues to skyrocket and this grant from the Illinois Department of Public Health will help Chicago House reduce that need in the City of Chicago.”
Recent studies confirm that persons living with HIV/AIDS must have stable housing to access comprehensive healthcare and adhere to complex HIV/AIDS therapies. Despite the link between stable housing and medical services, the wait for affordable housing continues to rise.
Those receiving grants are:
Organization City Amount
AIDSCARE Chicago $150,000
Alexian Brothers (Bonaventure) Chicago $150,000
Alexian Brothers (The Harbor) Waukegan $150,000
Bethany Place Belleville $150,000
Chicago House and Social Services Chicago $150,000
Community Supportive Living Systems Chicago $150,000
DeLacerda House Rock Island $150,000
Greater Community AIDS Project Champaign $150,000
Heartland Human Services Chicago $150,000
House of James Chicago $150,000
Jo Ray House Chicago $150,000
New Beginnings Recovery Homes Inc. Chicago $150,000
Phoenix Center Springfield $150,000
Pioneer Center – Peoria Peoria $150,000
Southern Illinois Coalition for the Homeless Marion $150,000
The Children’s Place Association Chicago $150,000
Vision House Chicago $150,000
Other HIV/AIDS assistance programs available include:
• AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP) – Approximately 3,000 clients use ADAP each month accessing 8,500 prescriptions. ADAP provides 81 different drugs, including all anti-retroviral therapies approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Eligible applicants have a gross income at or below 400 percent of the federal poverty level. Under Gov. Blagojevich, more than $5 million dollars of state funds has been added to the ADAP program to insure that no Illinois resident who qualifies is denied access to these medications.
• BASUAH – Brothers and Sisters United Against HIV/AIDS – BASUAH is a comprehensive HIV/AIDS awareness campaign was started by Gov. Blagojevich in 2005 to address the alarming trend of infection among the state’s African-American community. Through community outreach, testing and positive peer influence, our mission is to reduce new cases of HIV/AIDS while empowering people with the knowledge to better protect themselves.
• Minority AIDS Prevention – Located in the Center for Minority Health Services in IDPH, Minority AIDS Prevention programs target communities of color, including African Americans, Hispanics and Asians, and are a top priority of the state’s HIV/AIDS prevention efforts.
• African American HIV/AIDS Response Fund –$3 million in grants was awarded in Fiscal Year 2007 to groups in Illinois to help in the fight against HIV/AIDS.
Overall, HIV/AIDS funding has increased by almost 70 percent since Gov. Blagojevich came into office – from $46 million in 2003 to more than $78 million in this year’s budget.
For more information call the Illinois HIV/AIDS and STD hotline at 1-800-243-2437 between 9:00 a.m.-11:00 p.m. Monday through Friday and between 11:00 a.m.-11:00 p.m. on weekends.