Local and Community News
Kansas: A House for People With AIDS Will Close at the End of the Month
December 9, 2002
A Wichita, Kan., house for people with AIDS will close at the end of the month, the victim of financial woes and the changing nature of the disease. "We were losing money hand over fist" because funding sources have dried up, said Joe Kelly, executive director of ConnectCare, the AIDS service organization that runs the house.
Other ConnectCare services -- a drop-in center, a food pantry and case management -- will remain open. ConnectCare is helping the six residents of the house to find other places to live, Kelly said.
When the house opened in the late 1980s, it served as a hospice where people with AIDS could spend their final days. It is licensed as an assisted living facility, which means it has to be staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week, by people who can give medication and help with bathing and other daily needs. But with the development of new medications, AIDS is no longer a death sentence. Residents in recent years have not needed hospice and assisted living services, said Sheryl Kelly, a nurse who works with AIDS patients. Instead, they're homeless people with AIDS who need help finding jobs or other services to enable them to live on their own.
In addition, funding sources for housing are diminishing. The majority of the grants made to AIDS organizations now must be used for prevention and education. Sheryl Kelly said some ConnectCare offices and services that are located off site will be consolidated at the house. The house manager will be laid off, but two case manager positions that are vacant will be filled after the first of the year.
12.04.02; Karen Shideler
This article was provided by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update. Visit the CDC's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.