Florida: Tampa's AIDS Agency Stretches to Meet Need
October 30, 2009
On a shoestring budget in a tough economic climate, a 20-year-old AIDS service organization in Tampa has found a way to preserve its mission to help the area's HIV-positive people.
Francis House provides food, medical services, prescription drugs, and even the occasional recreational outing. Eight staff members work out of a 5,000-square-foot former auto garage.
"We use every nook and cranny of this place," director Joy Winheim said.
Client visits numbered more than 900 per month during the summer, up from 650 a month the previous summer. The current staff includes three new members brought onboard recently to meet the demand for services.
Founded in 1990 by Sister Anne Dougherty of the Franciscan Sisters of Allegany, Francis House today operates with an annual budget of less than $500,000. Benefactors include the Publix supermarket chain and the M.A.C. Cosmetics AIDS Fund.
Francis House has survived even as similar organizations, including the Tampa Bay AIDS Network, have closed their doors. Some of the funding now accessed by Francis House became available with the closing of these organizations, Winheim said.
St. Petersburg Times
10.27.2009; Justin George
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.