Dispatches from the fight against homelessness and AIDS
Posted by Sunny Bjerk , November 13, 2012
Housing Works Youth. Taken by Julie Turkewitz
We are pleased to announce that Johnny Guaylupo and Regnarian Jenkins, leaders of Housing Works’ Youth Program, have been nominated for the New York State Department of Health AIDS Institute’s Commissioners Award. The nominees are individuals from around the state who are honored for their extraordinary efforts in raising HIV/AIDS awareness within their community and around New York State.
As Program Coordinator for Housing Works’ Youth services and programs, Johnny has been working with HIV+ youth in and around New York City for a number of years now, and has instrumental in creating initiatives tailored to young and homeless MSM (men who have sex with men).
In fact, Outreach Specialist Reggie says it was through Johnny’s mentoring and guidance that he was able to become an instrument of support and inspiration to other HIV+ youth. “If it wasn’t for Johnny taking me on his team as a tracker from Housing Works’ Job Training Program, I really don’t know where I would be or what I would be doing. He has taught me the ins and outs of activism, as well as proper procedures when working with homeless MSM youth. He doesn’t just talk the talk but he also walks the walk, and makes it his business to teach me to never give up hope when advocating for our youth.”
Johnny and Reggie work with youth at the Housing Works’ East New York site, and both credit the staff and support of the ENY community health center staff and clients for the success of the Youth program.
Upon hearing about their nomination, Regnarian said, “This nomination just goes to show that anything is possible as long as you stay focused and truly believe in the community you are serving. Being a young HIV+ MSM myself, I now understand the importance of knowing the facts and believing in what you are fighting for, which is the rights of HIV positive individuals to be treated as equals and to know their rights.”
The award winner will be announced on December 5th in Albany, NY.
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