- Organization Name:Alliance for Housing and Healing
- Address:825 Colorado Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90041
- Web:www.alliancehh.org; www.aidforaids.net; www.serrap...
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- Make a Donation:www.ahhdonate.org
Preventing the downward spiral where chronic illness and homelessness intersect is at the heart of our mission to "provide essential housing and supportive services to people living in poverty with HIV/AIDS or other challenging health conditions."
* Caring, knowledgeable, and committed/dedicated staff
* Humane and compassionate care
* Fair and equal application of treatment and services
* Innovative solutions
* Integrity of purpose and actions
* High client satisfaction / agency of choice (for clients, donors and other funders)
* Corporate transparency; built-in safeguards against fraud and abuse
"A world in which hope is restored and lives are saved through homes, help and healing."
Third only to Miami and New York in number of persons diagnosed with HIV infection, the burden of HIV disease in Los Angeles County (LAC) is interwoven by the enormous size of the HIV-infected population, its health-related complications, extremely high numbers of people in poverty and the challenges of providing services in 4,084 square miles to people who are seriously disadvantaged. Although homeless people represent approximately 1.5% of the LAC population, they account for 10.6% of the diagnosed cases of HIV/AIDS. This means that of 62,000 persons living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA), over 6,500 are homeless or unstably housed--an enormous problem made worse by a lack of affordable housing, a declining median income and a disease that is increasingly characterized by life-threatening co-morbidities: cancer, heart and lung disease, kidney failure, diabetes, high blood pressure, arthritis and memory loss. Present-day HIV/AIDS is not one disease but many. Even the treatment for HIV/AIDS--which, if it works, can only slow disease progression, not eliminate it--must be sustained, is often complicated and frequently brings with it its own debilitating side effects that spawn other health problems. When homelessness is introduced to the mix, it is a lethal combination. With no way to refrigerate drugs, prepare healthy meals or access regular medical care, homeless persons with HIV/AIDS have little hope of following treatment regimens or sustaining their health. Unable to pay rent or utility bills, low-income PLWHA face losing their homes and having their water and electricity turned off. For PLWHA, this is a recipe for health disaster as their ability to acquire HIV-specific and HAART-friendly foods is compromised and their access to wellness regimens is cut short.
The link between homelessness and HIV/AIDS is well documented. Research shows that 40% to 60% of all PLWHA report a lifetime experience of homelessness or housing instability. As a result, they suffer lower CD4 counts, higher viral loads and a host of other chronic health problems; are less likely to receive and adhere to life-extending anti-retroviral therapy (ART); and are two to six times more likely to use hard drugs, share needles or exchange sex than stably housed PLWHA. Compared to stably housed PLWHA, homeless PLWHA rate their mental, physical and overall health worse and are more likely to be uninsured, use an emergency room and be admitted to a hospital.
The condition of homelessness itself opens the door for drug-resistant strains of the virus and chronic, life-threatening health problems: Rates of new HIV infections among the homeless are as much as 16 times the general population; death rates due to HIV/AIDS five to seven times higher among homeless persons.
Not surprisingly, housing status is one of the strongest predictors of treatment access and health outcomes for PLWHA.
Studies show that PLWHA who receive ANY level of housing assistance such as that offered by our agency are four to six times more likely to access medical care and undertake life-extending ART. This is critical because ART is essential to lowering viral load—suppressing the virus—which makes it harder to transmit. Lowering viral load is not only key to stopping the spread of HIV/AIDS, it is critical for protecting PLWHA against the ravages of the virus. The problem is that many PLWHA are not in care, on treatment or virally suppressed. In LAC, an estimated 21% the 62,000 people who are infected with HIV are unaware of their diagnosis; 39% are getting ART; only 26% are able to adhere to the treatment and sustain undetectable viral loads. Through health-intensive housing and support, we address these drop-offs in the HIV care continuum (or "treatment cascade") that interrupt viral suppression, threaten public and individual health and contribute to the cycle of homelessness and chronic disease that is endemic to HIV/AIDS.
Ours is a remarkable story of how two organizations from very different communities found common ground to combine their efforts on behalf of people impoverished and disabled by HIV/AIDS in Los Angeles County.
The roots of Alliance for Housing and Healing go back more than 30 years, to two groundbreaking, Los Angeles AIDS organizations--Aid For AIDS (AFA) and The Serra Project.
ABOUT AID FOR AIDS: Emerging out of the gay community in the early days of the epidemic, AFA was started by a group of friends in 1983 to help those at the end stages of the disease to die with dignity at home. Over time, AFA evolved to offer targeted financial assistance to allow individuals and their families who were impoverished and disabled by HIV/AIDS to avoid becoming homeless. Long recognized as the premier provider of safety-net services for PLWHA, AFA continues to provide emergency funds to clients as they await receipt of other forms of support, such as government benefits. Funds are earmarked for the necessities of life only--food, housing, utilities and non-prescription wellness items (including anti-nausea medications, pain remedies and supplies for incontinence). Upon verification of need, small cash payments are made ON BEHALF of clients to third-party providers, such as pharmacies, supermarkets, landlords and utility companies. No funds are ever disbursed to clients themselves and all purchases are carefully tracked. In addition to its own programs, AFA administers the largest contract in Los Angeles County for the federally mandated Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA) Short-Term Rent, Mortgage and Utility and Permanent Housing Placement programs. In this capacity, AFA administers over $700,000 annually in HOPWA funds to 20 other community-based AIDS service organizations.
ABOUT THE SERRA PROJECT: The Serra Project first took shape in 1987 in response to the growing number of people left homeless by their battle with HIV/AIDS. Under the sponsorship of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and seven area hospitals, The Serra Project opened the city's first AIDS-specific, licensed group home and hospice--Casa Los Angeles, in the Pico-Crenshaw area--for homeless people with HIV/AIDS. At the time, there were few resources for destitute persons living with HIV/AIDS and almost no low-cost, 24-hour care. Operating on the premise that compassion, security, dignity and a positive environment provide the most lasting links to a healthy lifestyle, the model of care introduced at Casa Los Angeles set the standard for the state licensing of all Residential Care Facilities for the Chronically Ill (RCFCIs), which is, today, the designation for all licensed homes of 25 beds or less that serve people with terminal illness. Serra went on to open three more homes (all still in operation) and, in 1998, with funding from the U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and a seed grant from the Ralph M. Parsons Foundation, expanded its housing operations with an innovative program of permanent supportive housing in master-leased rental units for low-income, AIDS-impacted, multi-diagnosed PLWHA and their families.
In 2009, AFA and Serra vertically integrated and merged their two organizations to become Alliance for Housing and Healing. Today, we are one of the largest providers of permanent supportive housing for persons with HIV/AIDS in Los Angeles County; the premier provider of need-based financial assistance for the necessities of life to persons with HIV/AIDS; and the only Southland agency with wraparound, continuum-of-care services aimed exclusively at keeping low-income persons with HIV/AIDS and their families housed and in care. Our focus has always been on those hardest hit by the disease: PLWHA who are multi-diagnosed, chronically ill, transgender, addicted, newly diagnosed, single parents, out of care and/or discriminated against. In 2014, we served 1,108 PLWHA and 366 family members, including 178 children.
- Year established:1987
- Organization type:Grantseeker
- Country of registration:United States
- Tax Determination Letter:Received Determination Letter
- IRS Section:501(c)(3)
- IRS Subsection:None
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