Local and Community News
Houston, Texas: AIDS Housing Group Gives Helping Hand
March 27, 2003
Derek Schell, 41, has lived for two months at AIDS Housing Coalition Houston's West Heights Shelter. Because he is HIV-positive, Schell fell on hard times. He was unable to work and subsequently was kicked out of his home by his landlord. It was then that Matt Locklin, AHCH executive director, answered Schell's call to the nonprofit. With a roof over his head for the time being, food to sustain him and a place to get a hot shower and the rest he needs, Schell hopes to get back on his feet and be working again soon. Shelter host J. Emmanuel Nieto said he and other volunteers work to encourage AHCH clients to get back out on their own through mentoring and job search assistance.
The coalition has helped more than 400 residents since it was established in 1994. West Heights Shelter is the group's new emergency-based housing initiative. It can serve both male and female occupants, as rooms are private, Locklin said. A sliding fee of up to $10 per day per person may be charged if residents are able to pay. Nutritious food, clothing, furnishings and other amenities are available as public donations allow. The average stay is seven to six weeks, with a maximum stay of 90 days. The group can serve up to 20 residents per year, per household sponsored.
The startup of the new AHCH shelter was made possible by a grant from the Houston Endowment Inc., said Locklin. On Monday, March 17, endowment officials and US Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) presented coalition leaders with a $25,000 check to jump-start the shelter. Jackson Lee helped AHCH obtain the funding assistance, Locklin said.
03.21.03; Penny Weaver
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.