Homeless men and women living with HIV/AIDS have increasingly complex needs. They often experience higher rates and more advanced forms of tuberculosis, increased incidence of other illnesses that threaten the immune system, and are far more likely to die of AIDS than any other HIV-infected population. This is because they face countless barriers to adequate health care and are less likely to adhere to the complex treatment regimen given a lack of stable housing and access to basic needs, such as food and prescription medicine.
Our Scattered Site Housing Program directly addresses these challenges by providing permanent housing, social services, and intensive case management to families and individuals whose lives have been devastated by the dual tragedies of HIV/AIDS and homelessness. Over the past year, we housed 48 individuals and 18 families in supportive permanent homes.
Located throughout Harlem and the Bronx, these renovated apartments provide a safe place for our clients to live with dignity while combating this deadly disease. In addition, the program offers a comprehensive support system that helps clients manage both the physical and emotional difficulties that accompany their illness. Case managers not only ensure that clients receive appropriate healthcare and benefits, but also accompany them to medical appointments when necessary and even shop for groceries if a client is too sick to go out. To provide emotional stability, our social work staff organizes depression and substance dependence treatment groups, meditation seminars, and support groups for families to help them cope with the challenges of having a loved one live with AIDS.
For more information about the Scattered Site Housing Program, please contact Aracelis Fabian at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 212-776-2160.
Recently, Tannie was hit with two devastating blows: she became homeless after her mother, with whom she'd been living, died of cancer, and also learned during a pre-natal visit that she was HIV+. Tannie is Dominican with no relatives in the States. She applied for benefits at the HIV/AIDS Service Administration and was referred to the Coalition's Scattered Site Housing Program (SSHP). At this time, Tannie was eight months pregnant, frightened about her health, and even more terrified about her unborn child's fate.
The Coalition immediately responded to the urgency of Tannie's situation. A SSHP case manager helped her move into a Washington Heights apartment, visited her in the hospital when she delivered her daughter Christina, and brought them clothes to wear home after discharge.
The Scattered Site Housing Program taught Tannie how to live with HIV, manage her medication, and stabilize emotionally. Tannie enrolled Christina in a day-care program and was able to find a steady full-time job. With help from the Coalition, Tannie and Christina were able to overcome and thrive with dignity through the ordeals of homelessness and living with HIV/AIDS