April 10, 2012
The nine-bed Serenity Court at Calcutta House will receive a three-year, $837,303 grant from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to continue providing housing services for Philadelphians living with HIV/AIDS.
Joe Tozzi, director of development and communications at Calcutta House, said HUD grants have aided Serenity Court since its construction in 2003 and opening in 2004. The new award represents a small increase over the previous funding cycle, he said.
The money will be used to fund operational costs -- like building maintenance, nursing supplies and residents' transportation -- as well as nursing, hospice, and other staff.
Tozzi said HUD's support is "crucial," especially in light of the possible elimination of a state Department of Public Welfare grant to Calcutta House. "It's really the main source of support," he said of the federal funds.
"While we would hope that the epidemic would not be around for another 25 years, the city's HIV infection rate is five times the national average, so we hope to still be here serving those who are in need for another 25 years," Tozzi said.