Housing Works & ACT UP (fwd)

Tom Boland (wgcp@earthlink.net)
Sat, 20 Dec 1997 01:57:03 -0800 (PST)

FWD: "About Housing Works" at <http://www.housingworks.org/about.htm>
See also Housing Works main page <http://www.housingworks.org/main.htm>

                    Over 30,000 New Yorkers with AIDS and HIV
                    currently live in shelters, on the streets or in
                    severely inadequate housing. Common sense and
                    public health principles dictate that people with
                    AIDS and HIV are entitled to decent, affordable
                    housing and to the services they need to remain
                    stable, healthy and independent. Yet society's
                    response to this crisis has been late and

Housing Works is a minority-controlled, community-based, non-profit
agency providing housing, health care, advocacy, job training, and vital
supportive services to homeless New Yorkers living with HIV and AIDS
who have histories of chronic mental illness and/or chemical dependence.
Our mission is to reach the most vulnerable and underserved communities in
New York City with a comprehensive range of services designed to help
them gain stability, security, and independence so that they can live longer,
healthier lives with hope and dignity.

Housing Works was founded in 1990 by a group of AIDS activists --
African-American, white, Latino, Latina, gay and straight -- who were
members of the Housing Committee of the AIDS Coalition to Unleash
Power (ACT UP). They were alarmed at the conditions in which people
with AIDS and HIV had to live and angry over bureaucratic obstacles to
effective solutions. They decided to go beyond protest and take action to
provide decent apartments for homeless people with AIDS and HIV, and the
services they need to remain stable and housed. In this way, Housing
Works' unique brand of direct service provision with an activist edge was born.

Today, Housing Works is the nation's largest provider of housing and
supportive services for homeless and formerly homeless people with AIDS
and HIV. Housing Works currently provides supportive housing to over
1,000 men, women and children living with HIV/AIDS in New York City,
and provides a range of supportive services to over 5,000 people living with

It is a unique community-- a welcoming place with doors open to all, where
homeless and formerly homeless men and women, professionals and volunteers
work side by side to improve conditions for people with AIDS and HIV.
Housing Works continues to create programs, services and innovative
solutions that challenge assumptions and inspire new responses to the
crises of homelessness and AIDS.

Today, Housing Works:
*serves more than 4,000 people through its intake program, which screens,
evaluates, counsels and provides emergency relief to new clients and places
homeless people with AIDS and HIV in housing and appropriate services
60 to 90 days
*operates housing programs with decent, affordable apartments for homeless
people with AIDS and HIV and their families in Manhattan, the Bronx,
Brooklyn and Queens
*offers supportive services that help people remain stable and independent,
including peer support groups, life skills training, nutritional
counseling, parenting education, a theater project, and a video project
*assists clients to advocate for themselves with landlords and public
agencies and works for the systemic changes necessary to make decent
housing a reality for all homeless people living with AIDS and HIV
*runs job training and literacy classes that prepare clients for education
programs or guaranteed full-time staff positions in the agency upon
*offers harm reduction programs that provide an effective alternative to
traditional drug treatment programs, allowing chemically dependent clients
to give up and modify destructive behaviors at their own pace -- including
a needle exchange program that provides clean needles, condoms and other
risk reduction
*offers a tuberculosis prevention and control program that includes TB
screenings, staff and client education, counseling, and TB related medical
*operates adult AIDS day treatment programs through which clients receive
comprehensive and coordinated HIV health services on an outpatient basis,
and obtain the medical information they may need to advocate for their own
*runs three thrift shops, a used book cafe, and a food service operation as
part of a Community Enterprise Program that generates income for Housing
Works' social service programs as well as employment opportunities for

END FORWARD from Housing Works