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U.S. News

AIDS, HIV Facility to Close in Detroit: 11 Lose Home Over Lack of Funding

June 28, 2007

On Monday afternoon, eleven residents with HIV/AIDS learned they could no longer stay at Helping Hands, a Detroit transitional housing facility, due to cuts in federal housing subsidies. The facility must close in 30 days, said program officials.

"The mood is panic, it's depression, it's 'What am I going to do?'" related Gregory Porter, a resident. He and others were told at the Monday meeting that electricity would be cut within four days and moving arrangements must be made. A DTE Energy spokesperson said the facility's address was not listed for any termination in services.

By Tuesday evening, almost half the clients had moved, said one resident.

"We have to proceed as if there are no dollars," said Daisy Smith, executive director of Carefirst Community Health Services, which operates the facility with a federal contract administered through the city. "The clients won't be homeless. We're working with other organizations such as Cass Community Services.? There are still facilities available for people to go."

To operate Helping Hands, Care First received $100,000 of the $1.5 million the city was awarded in fiscal 2006-07 by the federal Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA) program. At one time, HOPWA funds could cover transitional and permanent housing, said Smith, but program reductions have left no additional money for transitional housing.

"Never in my wildest dream did I think they would cut us so severely," Smith said.

Back to other news for June 2007

Adapted from:
Detroit Free Press
06.27.2007; Bowdeya Tweh

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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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