California: L.A. Nonprofits Battling HIV/AIDS Face Funding Cutoff
March 18, 2014
This article was reported by the Los Angeles Times.
The Los Angeles Times reported that changes in the rules governing how the city of Los Angeles could distribute U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) funding would result in a three-month funding gap of approximately $250,000 for local nonprofits providing HIV/AIDS services. In the past, the city distributed HIV/AIDS prevention funding from a federal block grant. However, a new interpretation of federal regulations sharply limited the funding for existing programs and left more programs competing for less money, according to City AIDS Coordinator Ricky Rosales. HUD block grant funding would cease at the end of March. A HUD spokesperson could not comment on the regulations change.
Rosales noted that the AIDS Coordinator's Office would seek replacement funding from the city's general fund beginning in July. However, the office did not expect to obtain full funding; at present, Rosales expected to have only 57 percent ($600,000) of his current $1 million budget. Jeff Millman, spokesperson for Mayor Eric Garcetti, stated that the city council was reviewing allocations for next year and would address the three-month funding gap before the end of March.
Shoshanna Scholar, executive director of the LA Community Health Project, which provides a needle-exchange and safe syringe disposal program, stated that without expected funding, outreach programs would not happen. Scholar estimated the funding gap would result in 7,500 fewer HIV tests, 2,200 people without needle-exchange services, and 290,000 used syringes with no means for disposal. She urged the city to cover the funding gap and sustain funding next year to avoid an increase in HIV infections. Scholar projected the funding shortfall would also endanger 38 jobs. Joe Montes, director of counseling and testing for the nonprofit Bienestar, noted that his organization would lose $27,000 during the funding freeze, which would necessitate two layoffs.
This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.
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