News

Houston, TX, September 28, 2017 – HRSA awarded ten (10) grants of up to $300,000 each per year for three years to support the design, implementation, and evaluation of innovative interventions that will coordinate HIV treatment, housing, and employment services to improve HIV health outcomes for low-income, uninsured, and underinsured people living with HIV (PLWH) in racial and ethnic minority communities. Grantees for this funding must be current recipients of HOPWA (Housing Opportunities for Persons With AIDS) and Ryan White Part A. This Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary’s Minority AIDS Initiative Fund project is also supported, in part, through Special Projects of National Significance. The University of Boston will provide evaluation and technical assistance for all ten sites.

“This program will allow Avenue 360 and our collaborative partner AIDS Foundation Houston to transcend funding streams and combine services into a single approach, focusing on the health of PLWH while using employment and housing to support these health outcomes,” said the Chief Executive Officer Joe C. Fuentes, Jr., MBA.

Providing effective HIV care for communities at the greatest risk for poor health outcomes involves addressing factors, such as poverty, lack of education, unemployment/ under-employment, homelessness and other social determinants of health. To promote long-term health and stability for PLWH, this initiative will support organizations that can demonstrate innovative strategies for integrating HIV treatment, housing and employment services into an intervention.

“This is an exciting collaboration to the enhance coordination of care and develop and evaluate a community-based structural interventions around housing and employment to improve HIV health outcomes for Houstonians” said Samira Ali, Ph.D., Site Evaluator and Assistant Professor at the Graduate College of Social Work, University of Houston.

Due to advances in HIV treatment, life expectancy has increased, and PLWH increasingly have the stamina to seek and maintain employment. While it is important to acknowledge that some PLWH experience chronic disabilities that require special accommodation or limit the types of work accessible, entering or remaining in the workforce is an option for many. However, an estimated 45-70 percent of PLWH remain unemployed, and among these individuals, 40 percent feel ready and able to work.

“When you provide housing and economic security for the most vulnerable people living with HIV, we ensure better health outcomes and lower HIV transmissions rate. That is how you end HIV in Houston. That is what this partnership and program will accomplish,” said Kelly Young, Chief Executive Officer of AIDS Foundation Houston.

Close collaboration with local HIV prevention and care programs will ensure that these efforts are integrated into the local infrastructure to promise sustainability beyond the project—and lessons learned will be shared to support the improvement of HIV outcomes among minority populations in the United States.

About Avenue 360 Health & Wellness

For over 30 years, Avenue 360 Health & Wellness (formerly Houston Area Community Services and Bering Omega Community Services) has worked to bring a 360-degree approach to healthcare. Offering a holistic solution for those seeking a medical home, at Avenue 360 the patient is at the center of the healthcare model, receiving medical, dental, behavioral health, housing and support services. For more information, please visit www.avenue360.org.

About AIDS Foundation Houston

AIDS Foundation Houston founded in 1982, is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation that was the first AIDS Service Organization in Texas and remains a national leader in HIV/STD programming. Focusing on preventing new HIV infections and providing housing and supportive services to those affected by HIV/AIDS, AFH provides care to almost 6,000 men, women and children affected by HIV/AIDS and educates more than 90,000 people throughout Texas. For more information, please visit www.aidshelp.org.

About University of Houston, Graduate College of Social Work

University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work (GCSW) is a nationally recognized program, ranked 38 by U.S. News & World Report and the highest ranked College at the University of Houston.  Offering MSW and PhD degrees, the GCSW prepares diverse leaders in practice and research to address complex challenges and achieve sustainable social, racial, economic, and political justice, locally and globally, through exceptional education, innovative research, and meaningful community engagement. The GCSW has established partnerships with agencies throughout greater Houston and counts a significant number of social work leaders among its alumni. For more information, please visit www.uh.edu/socialwork

This project is supported by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Secretary’s Minority AIDS Initiative Fund and administered by the Health Resources and Services Administration, HIV/AIDS Bureau and Office of Training and Capacity Development, Special Projects of National Significance (Grant No. H97HA31464).  HRSA’s HIV/AIDS Bureau developed this initiative in partnership with U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Office of HIV/AIDS Housing (OHH) and U.S. Department of Labor.

Contact

Evelio Escamilla, Grants and Research Administrator
Avenue 360 Health & Wellness
Phone:  (832) 607-4933
E-mail:   eescamilla@avenue360.org

 

Melody Patelis, Chief Development Officer
AIDS Foundation Houston, Inc.
Phone: (713) 623-6796 x 322
E-mail:  patelism@afhouston.org