Alabama HIV/AIDS Clinic Awarded Nearly $1 Million in HUD Funding for Housing Program
December 12, 2008
The Anniston Star on Wednesday examined an almost $1 million Department of Housing and Urban Development grant awarded to the Health Services Center in Hobson City, Ala., which is the area's only HIV/AIDS clinic. The not-for-profit center has provided transitional housing for people living with HIV/AIDS and their families in 14 counties since 2005, and the $997,838 grant from the HUD's Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS program will go toward purchasing permanent housing units and supporting the existing units already owned by the clinic, the Star reports. Rita Flegel, housing program coordinator for the center, said the clinic owns three units in nearby Oxford that will be used for permanent housing. She added that the center hopes to use the grant money to purchase two more units in Anniston and one in Gadsden for a total of six units. She said that housing "is health care" and is the "basis of everything. If you don't have a place to sleep at night, it doesn't really matter if you're taking your medications or not."
The Star reports that Health Services Center was one of nine national HIV/AIDS housing programs to receive HOPWA grants, which totaled almost $10 million and included programs in larger metropolitan areas such as Dallas, Chicago, Los Angeles and New York. Flegel said that Hobson City's inclusion among the agencies awarded grants "shows that the need here is just as great." She added that the issues the grant will address are "HIV and homelessness combined," which will "provide a tremendous service not only for our clients but for the entire community."
According to the Star, the housing provided by the clinic is connected to intensive support service centers, providing clients access to medical care and case management. Flegel said the main goal of the program is to help people living with HIV become financially independent. "We want to help them learn how to live on their own," she said, adding that the grant "isn't going to bring in the needy people. The needy people are already here" (Buckner, Anniston Star, 12/10).
An HUD press release about its recent grants is available online.
This article was provided by Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. It is a part of the publication Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report. Visit the Kaiser Family Foundation's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.