Local and Community News
Kansas: As Funds Dry Up, AIDS Home Forced to Close
January 2, 2003
After almost 10 years in service, a Wichita, Kan., home that gave people with HIV/AIDS a place to spend their final days closed Friday, its intense care services no longer needed. Because AIDS patients are living longer, healthier lives, the house had come to serve as a transitional home of sorts for people who needed help while managing their disease and adjusting to their treatment. The house has provided free rooms and meals for those who needed it and on-site care for about 190 people since 1993. But funding sources have dried up, forcing its owner, ConnectCare, to shut it down and rethink the service. The house was Wichita's only assisted living facility for AIDS patients.Adapted from:
The few residents who could afford it paid $464 a month to live at the home to help cover its $155,000 in monthly expenses, said Joe Kelly, executive director of ConnectCare. But a three-year grant that provided ConnectCare $150,000 has expired. Donations are expected to be about $1,000 less than last year, when ConnectCare collected about $8,000, he said.
Kelly said the closing is positive, allowing ConnectCare to evaluate and eventually better serve the housing needs of people with AIDS. Only six of about 275 clients that ConnectCare serves live there. Clients will still be able to use ConnectCare's other services: a drop-in center, a food pantry, a case management site, transportation service and 24-hour hot line.
Officials will move offices and services located elsewhere into the house and examine options for a new residential program, which they may begin in about a year. Those options include focusing more on the needs of homeless persons or providing financial assistance to help AIDS patients stay in their homes. Kelly said ConnectCare would direct clients to other programs or ConnectCare housing options, including the independent living apartments and federally subsidized housing it operates.
12.31.02; Lori O'Toole Buselt
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.