Canada: Grant Loss Jeopardizes HIV Organization
June 16, 2006
For 15 years, Edmonton-based Living Positive has brought HIV patients together and sent HIV-positive speakers to high schools and medical training facilities. But it may have to shut down this summer because the Alberta Community Council on HIV/AIDS did not renew its $85,000 Canadian ($75,754 US) funding application.
Living Positive depends on the grant, as well fundraising events, to come up with its annual budget of $150,000 Canadian ($133,684 US). It is submitting a new report to apply for funds, but that money would not be forthcoming until April 2007. "How do we stay afloat until then?" asked Deborah Miville, the organization's community developer.
"We have a grave concern about their efficiency," said Susan Cress, vice-chairperson of the Community Council. "They weren't offering good services or demonstrating the impact on the community." Living Positive, she said, failed to show why its services were necessary or how it planned to deliver them with a shrinking base of members and volunteers. Cress added, however, that she hopes Living Positive will be able to get its programming together again eventually.
"We provide a piece of the puzzle that nobody else does provide," said Miville. "We have the source of HIV-positive people who are willing to go out and do speaking engagements." Efforts to partner with other organizations have progressed slowly, she said, due to the health challenges of some volunteers. The agency has been undergoing restructuring since its executive director left in the fall. Miville is its only paid staffer.
Acting Executive Director Randy Sampert said Living Positive's members will meet later in June to assess whether the organization should attempt to continue on its own or merge with another group.
06.15.2006; Jodie Sinnema
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.