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Local and Community News

San Francisco: AIDS Groups Lobby Mayor Not to Cut Funds

May 22, 2002

A midday rally is planned today in front of San Francisco City Hall to bring attention to the budget wars involving many of the city's social service agencies. While AIDS agencies received some good news last week when Gov. Gray Davis unveiled his budget and kept HIV/AIDS fully funded at current levels, they will not know until June 1, when Mayor Willie Brown submits his budget to the Board of Supervisors, if the same will be true in city funding.

More than $3.8 million has been deleted from social services funded on a one-time basis during the 2001-2002 fiscal year. Those agencies that received funding are now fighting City Hall to refund them during 2002-2003. These include Positive Resource Center, Stop AIDS Project, New Leaf, Native American AIDS Project, Ark House and Walden House. The mayor required all departments to submit budgets with suggestions to cut 10 percent from their general fund allocation. The Department of Public Health (DPH) has proposed $1.1 million in cuts, partly by reducing $378,000 from the AIDS Health Project (AHP), $401,000 from Shanti, and $140,000 from the San Francisco AIDS Foundation (SFAF).

The cuts to SFAF would be from its HIV/AIDS hotline. The AIDS foundation is also fighting to receive nearly $380,000 for its housing program, involving 30 housing units for people with HIV/AIDS. At Shanti, the funding loss would essentially eliminate the agency's core HIV services, meaning it would no longer offer emotional and practical support to nearly 1,700 clients through its volunteer matching program. At AHP, the loss in funds would mean the elimination of its psychosocial support services: It would no longer be able to provide support groups to people who are HIV-positive.

Sup. Mark Leno said earlier this month that he supports a proposal to the Board of Supervisors not to cut from the DPH budget. Making the cuts would make the Board seem "penny-wise and pound foolish," he said. The rally is scheduled at City Hall from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. today.

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Adapted from:
Bay Area Reporter (San Francisco)
05.16.02; Matthew S. Bajko


  
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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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