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The ser­vices pro­vided by AID At­lanta are in­di­vid­u­al­ized to a client’s needs. In or­der to re­ceive ser­vices pro­vided by the or­ga­ni­za­tion, one will need to pro­vide proof of HIV sta­tus, live in the agency’s 20-county EMA (el­i­gi­ble metropoli­tan area), and have a gross an­nual in­come less than 300 per­cent of the fed­eral poverty level. A photo ID is not re­quired. The vol­un­teer-driven or­ga­ni­za­tion re­lies heav­ily on do­na­tions and con­tri­bu­tions. One of the or­ga­ni­za­tion’s big­gest com­mu­nity events and fundrais­ers is the AIDS Walk & 5K Run. This year, the 28th an­nual walk/run will be held at Pied­mont Park on Oc­to­ber 21. Par­tic­i­pants in the AIDS Walk & 5K Run will raise money for the or­ga­ni­za­tion’s seven par­tic­i­pat­ing lo­cal HIV/AIDS pro­grams. This year’s goal is to raise $750,000. Liv­ing Room is the state’s largest fa­cil­i­ta­tor of emer­gency and tran­si­tional hous­ing for peo­ple liv­ing with HIV/AIDS. Ac­cord­ing to the or­ga­ni­za­tion’s web­site, Liv­ing Room is At­lanta’s cen­tral­ized in­take and hous­ing in­for­ma­tion and re­fer­ral agency, able to as­sist more than 1,500 in­di­vid­u­als each year and make an im­por­tant dif­fer­ence in their lives. Sis­ter Mary Jane Lu­bin­ski founded the or­ga­ni­za­tion in 1995 as part of Trin­ity Com­mu­nity Min­istries to as­sist peo­ple liv­ing with HIV/AIDS find stable, af­ford­able hous­ing. It be­came a 501c3 or­ga­ni­za­tion four years later. For Sis­ter Mary Jane, hous­ing was not just an es­sen­tial part of help­ing peo­ple to main­tain hu­man dig­nity, but as foun­da­tion of ef­fec­tive treat­ment of HIV. Sis­ter Mary Jane’s Liv­ing Room has, over the years, made it­self one of the go-to places for low-in­come peo­ple liv­ing with HIV/ AIDS who have fallen on hard times due to health. Liv­ing Room is one av­enue to help find af­ford­able hous­ing so that liv­ing on the streets isn’t their only op­tion. The agency pro­vides sub­si­dized sup­port­ive hous­ing, hous­ing re­fer­rals, and hous­in­gre­lated emer­gency as­sis­tance. The pro­grams and ser­vices are tai­lored to meet the di­verse needs and sit­u­a­tions of their clients.

Au­gust 17, 2018

More than 90 per­cent of their clients are de­fined as ex­tremely low in­come, so find­ing and main­tain­ing af­ford­able hous­ing is es­sen­tial to pre­vent­ing home­less­ness. The group serves the 29-county At­lanta area and ru­ral North­west Ge­or­gia area around Rome and Dal­ton. They have over eight pro­grams they be­lieve will help to end home­less­ness for peo­ple liv­ing with HIV/AIDS. The pro­grams con­sist of emer­gency lodg­ing, sup­port­ive hous­ing, ten­ant-based rental as­sis­tance, spe­cial needs hous­ing as­sis­tance, per­ma­nent hous­ing place­ment, short-term rent/ mort­gage util­ity as­sis­tance, re­cu­per­a­tive care, and hous­ing coun­sel­ing. Liv­ing Room re­lies on do­na­tions and vol­un­teers to help ful­fill their mis­sion. Liv­ing Room uses 85¢ of ev­ery dol­lar do­nated on those ser­vices. Of the re­main­ing, 9¢ cov­ers rent, tech­nol­ogy, phone, and in­ter­net ser­vice, of­fice sup­plies, staff ben­e­fits (in­clud­ing health in­sur­ance), print­ing, board devel­op­ment, and ad­min­is­tra­tive staff salaries. Do­na­tions they re­ceive are con­tin­u­ally used to one day end the prob­lem of home­less­ness for peo­ple with HIV/AIDS. Den­nie Doucher founded The Health Ini­tia­tive as The At­lanta Les­bian Can­cer Ini­tia­tive in 1996. Doucher and her friends were mo­ti­vated to cre­ate the or­ga­ni­za­tion after they ex­pe­ri­enced ho­mo­pho­bia and lack of sup­port for part­ners and care­givers when they sought health­care. ALCI pro­vided sup­port groups for les­bians and set their sights on ed­u­cat­ing the med­i­cal com­mu­nity on how to cater to their les­bian pa­tients. Doucher died of breast can­cer two years after the or­ga­ni­za­tion’s found­ing. Since her death, the or­ga­ni­za­tion has awarded the Den­nie Doucher Heal­ing An­gel Award to peo­ple who have ded­i­cated time to bet­ter­ing the health­care ex­pe­ri­ences of LGBTQ peo­ple. Past Heal­ing An­gels in­clude Charis Books and More and De­catur Women’s Sports League founder Anne “Sarge” Barr. The award re­cip­i­ents are hon­ored at the or­ga­ni­za­tion’s an­nual Gar­den Party, which also serves as a fundraiser. In 2004, The At­lanta Les­bian Can­cer Ini­tia­tive be­came the At­lanta Les­bian Health Ini­tia­tive to ad­dress other health and well­ness is­sues that af­fect les­bians. The or­ga­ni­za­tion changed its name one more time to The Health Ini­tia­tive in 2011 and ex­panded its fo­cus to in­clude the health­care needs of ev­ery mem­ber of At­lanta’s LGBTQ com­mu­nity. The or­ga­ni­za­tion es­tab­lished their health fund in 2008 to as­sist unin­sured and un­der­in­sured LGBTQ peo­ple. Those in need of aid can ap­ply for fund­ing on­line dur­ing cer­tain dates each month. The Health Ini­tia­tive also part­ners with lo­cal med­i­cal clin­ics to make re­fer­rals for LGBTQ-friendly health­care. Their part­ners in­clude Grady Health Sys­tem, Cen­ter For Black Women’s Well­ness, Metropoli­tan Coun­sel­ing Ser­vices, Ab­so­luteCARE At­lanta, and Planned Par­ent­hood of Ge­or­gia. The Health Ini­tia­tive also pro­vides cul­tural com­pe­tency train­ing for health­care providers in­ter­ested in gain­ing a bet­ter un­der­stand­ing of the needs of LGBTQ peo­ple. The train­ing in­cludes in­for­ma­tion on proper LGBTQ ter­mi­nol­ogy, health disparities, and how to make sure an en­vi­ron­ment is LGBTQ friendly. The train­ings can be hosted on­site or in The Health Ini­tia­tive’s fa­cil­ity. The Health Ini­tia­tive has a part­ner­ship with SAGE (Ser­vices and Ad­vo­cacy for GLBT El­ders). This pro­gram is ded­i­cated to al­le­vi­at­ing the chal­lenges of aging LGBTQ peo­ple. SAGE At­lanta helps LGBTQ el­ders ac­cess health­care, ad­vo­cates for LGBTQ se­nior rights, gives el­ders op­por­tu­ni­ties to so­cial­ize with each other, and pro­vides ed­u­ca­tional re­sources on LGBTQ aging. The Health Ini­tia­tive hosts a va­ri­ety of events in­clud­ing health­care screen­ings, town halls, and sup­port groups. Their most re­cent event was a Fat Kid Dance Party, co-hosted by body-pos­i­tive ac­tivist and fit­ness in­struc­tor Bevin Bran­land­ing­ham. Na­tional AIDS Ed­u­ca­tion & Ser­vices for Mi­nori­ties, Inc. is ded­i­cated to ad­dress­ing health and well­ness mat­ters rel­e­vant to black, gay men. The or­ga­ni­za­tion was cre­ated in 1990 by Ru­dolph H. Carn, Madam Edna Brown, and Mae Gratis Reed dur­ing the height of the HIV/AIDS cri­sis. The or­ga­ni­za­tion’s orig­i­nal fo­cus cen­tered squarely on ed­u­ca­tion through work­shops

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