This year’s World AIDS Day marks an occasion to reflect on the 30 year struggle with HIV and to renew and invigorate our commitment to ending AIDS. At HUD, the Office of HIV/AIDS Housing helped to lead the Department’s commemoration of this year’s World AIDS Day on November 29th. The Uniting for Action: Cross-Program Approaches to HIV forum profiled seven new grants that will become models of integration and innovation in the years to come. The event brought together the HUD community and federal partners to discuss the future of HIV/AIDS care and service.
We were honored to have two esteemed colleagues: Jeff Crowley, Director of the White House Office of National AIDS Policy and Dr. Andrew Forsyth, Senior Science Advisor at the Office of HIV/AIDS Policy share remarks about the progress being made on the National HIV/AIDS Strategy and advances in HIV/AIDS service and care delivery since the beginning of the epidemic. They complemented HUD on the strong relationship they have with the HIV/AIDS community and the successes it has had over the years providing housing and support to the HIV positive community.
Our grantees then provided the HUD community with an overview of their projects. The Los Angeles County Commission on HIV talked about working with their Housing Authority to secure 50 Housing Choice Vouchers for their HOPWA clients. The Corporation for AIDS Research and Services highlighted their employment initiative and helping their clients gain self sufficiency. The Justice Resource Institute discussed their youth initiative, which will target homeless youth who are HIV positive. All the grantees were passionate about their grants and how the new funding would benefit their communities. They were able to gain new partners and target special populations in dire need of support.
The entire day was the first step in building a strong learning community for these grants over the next three years that will include the grantees, HUD Headquarters, and Technical Assistance providers. The group will provide support, share information, and create performance measures that will be used to evaluate the success of these projects. All of this will culminate in seven replicable models that we hope to share with the HUD and outside communities.