Community Resource Update: Spotlight on Pierce County AIDS Foundation, Tacoma, Wa.

The Pierce County AIDS Foundation is a non-profit organization established in 1987 to respond to the needs of persons living with HIV/AIDS in Pierce County. A Board of Directors oversees the work of Foundation staff and volunteers.

The mission of the Pierce County AIDS Foundation is to affirm the dignity of all persons, promote the prevention of HIV infection through education and service, assist persons living with HIV/AIDS and their families, and oppose discrimination based on sexism, racism and homophobia associated with this disease.

The agency has a $1.6 million annual budget, and receives funding from local, state and federal governments, the United Way, private foundations and individuals, churches, organizations and corporations.

Client Services
At PCAF there is never a charge for services
Case ManagementLink between persons with HIV or AIDS and resources. Specialized case management available for persons dually diagnosed with mental health issues and/or chemical dependency.
Housing Options ProgramSeeks safe and affordable housing for clients. Manages housing subsidy programs. Serves as liaison to other housing programs.
Mental Health ServicesFacilitated support groups. Limited psychiatric treatment available (provided by Community Health Care staff). Mental health referrals in the community.
Language ServicesBilingual staff members provide interpretive services in Spanish.
Healthy Behaviors ServicesEducation and training to reduce risky behaviors and improve medication adherence.
Chemical Dependency ServicesRecovery support group. Chemical dependency counseling (provided by Stonewall Recovery Services).

Community Programs

Healthy 2002


Young and Strong

Unity Now

Bilingual: outreach and prevention education to the Latino community holds monthly gatherings with speakers and information and does special events such as Grande Noche de Latino.

Youth/Peer Education: outreach and education to all high school aged youth. This program works with the State Health Department to maintain current peer prevention education sites at local high schools. Past events have included a youth summit on HIV/AIDS in October and various workshops.

MSM: a department that has several different programs for men who have sex with men.

Healthy 2002 is outreach and education for older men in bars and social settings, which tries to build community pride and distributes condoms and information. This includes the Friend-to-Friend program, which holds workshops, does community surveys and has a book club called "Wilde Thoughts."

The Young and Strong program focuses on men 14-24 by handing out safe sex packets, holding educational workshops and its book club Coffee Klatch.

The Young and Strong programs work closely with Oasis, which provides services for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and questioning youth. The MSM program coordinator is Seth Kirby, who can be reached at 253-383-2565, ext. 212.

Unity Now, an outreach and prevention campaign for young women of color that regularly does community meetings, festivals, health fairs, distributes information and condoms and works with local faith groups, and also includes many special events such as Soul Food Extravaganza and the Positively Beautiful Style Show. Coordinated by Phyllis Runyon, this program focuses on an extremely high-risk population, and provides crucial support and information. Phyllis can be contacted at 253-383-2565, ext. 203.

PCAF Volunteer Corps: Volunteers worked for 11,000 hours at the Pierce County AIDS Foundation last year to provide client care, peer education, and administrative support.

Volunteer Opportunities: PCAF is always looking for new volunteers to help us and our clients in a variety of ways. After a brief application and training process, volunteers can help out with our buddy program, child care, chore services, the essential needs bank, food bag delivery, garden/lawn maintenance, massage therapy, moving/packing, respite, transportation, bulk mailing, monthly work parties, fundraising, special events such as the AIDS Walk, Oasis, the Speaker's Bureau, Unity Now, and other programs. To become a volunteer, contact the Volunteer Coordinator, Colleen Minion-Pierce at 253-383-2565, ext. 206.

Client Assistant Programs
Emergency GrantsEligible clients may receive support for emergencies such as utility shut-off notices, medications, basic phone services, and rental/mortgage assistance.
Basic Needs ProgramEligible clients may receive home-delivered food bags and Essential Needs Bags (containing toiletries and household supplies).
Housing SubsidiesTenant-based rental assistance available on a limited basis.
Transportation VouchersAssistance with local transportation or for emergency long-distance travel.
Mental Health VouchersFree mental health counseling support through local therapists for people living with HIV/AIDS and their families.
Medication Adherence and Support ServicesProvides medication adherence support and education.
Extended Support ServicesMonthly telephone contacts with clients whose service needs are minimal. Provides linkage to services as needed. A friendly ear who cares.
Voice MailFree voice mail available to all PCAF clients (service through MDC) helps you stay in touch even if you don't have a phone. See your case manager for details.

E-mail for more information.