News & Press

Housing Works and Other NYC AIDS Groups Launch Campaign to Fund AIDS and Family Clinics in Haiti

Housing Works and three other New York City AIDS groups have banded together to fund and operate three desperately needed clinics in Haiti. The other New York City organizations contributing to this urgent effort include Aid for AIDS, the Caribbean Women’s Health Center, and Diaspora Community Services.

One clinic will serve Haitians living with HIV/AIDS in Port-au-Prince. At least half of the AIDS clinics in Port-au-Prince were destroyed in the devastating earthquake that shattered the lives of Haitians on January 12. The Haitian Ministry of Health has endorsed the plan to open the clinic, which was proposed by PHAP+, a coalition of Haitian AIDS service organizations. The clinic will be located on the grounds of ASON, a grassroots AIDS service organization.

The second clinic is a family health center operated by Brooklyn-based Diaspora Community Services in Port-au-Prince that was destroyed in the earthquake. The groups are aiming to reopen the clinic, called the Centre Medico-social de Port-au-Prince, in a small structurally sound building that remains on the clinic’s property. The clinic is located in a neighborhood of Port-au-Prince where thousands of poor families are in urgent need of primary care.

The third clinic will be located in St.-Marc, north of Port-au-Prince. Located outside of the earthquake zone, the St.-Marc facility will serve Haitian’s living with HIV/AIDS and their families .

Housing Works is calling for volunteer doctors and nurses, donations of medical supplies and cash donations in order to get both clinics up and running. Anyone interested in supporting these critical relief efforts can contact Douglas Sanders at sanders@housingworks.org or 347-473-7401; cash donations can be made on the Housing Works website at www.housingworks.org. (Cash donations are used to purchase food, water and children’s nutritional supplement in the Dominican Republic to avoid shipping costs.)

“I urge everybody to open their hearts to support our efforts to get these clinics open as soon as possible. International relief has been pouring into Haiti, but much of it has been disorganized and chaotic. Most of the relief targets immediate medical trauma and survival needs and will not lead to the sustained support that Haitians desperately need. Hurricane Katrina taught us that marginalized populations, such as people with HIV/AIDS, get overlooked in the wake of natural disasters,” said Housing Works President and CEO Charles King.

King added that the need for volunteer doctors and nurses is especially pressing; Housing Works seeks medical professionals with experience in infectious diseases/AIDS, internal medicine, family medicine, emergency medicine or surgery and pediatrics.

Last week, King and Dr. Vaty Poitevien—the medical director of Housing Works’ 13th St. Health Center who lost her parents in the recent earthquake—transported more than $40,000 dollars worth of medicine, food, water and other basic supplies for Haitians living with HIV/AIDS. (Read King’s moving blog posts).The donations came at the request of PHAP+, a national association of Haitian AIDS groups led by people living with HIV/AIDS. For more than two years, Housing Works has collaborated with PHAP+ member organizations, in particular the Fondation Esther B. Stanislas, a pioneering community-based AIDS organization headed by Esther Boucicault, the current president of PHAP+.

Housing Works will establish a structure of logistical support that includes coordination of medical staff and supplies. Housing Works will also solicit donations from funders and its loyal base of supporters in New York City.

Aid for AIDS will coordinate the collection, inventory and packing of medications, particularly antiretrovirals. To contact Aid for AIDS, call or e-mail Aid for AIDS Executive Director Jesus Aguais, at 212-337-8043 or jesus.aguais@aidforaids.org.

Diaspora Community Services will solicit funders to raise money and resume its oversight of its health Center. To contact Diaspora Community Services, call or e-mail Executive Director Carine Jocelyn at (718) 399-0200 or cjocelyn@diasporacs.org .

Caribbean Women’s Community Health Center will use its ties in the Brooklyn Caribbean community, faith-based organizations, and other relationships to raise funds to purchase nutritional and other essential supplies. To contact the Caribbean Women’s Community Health Center, call or e-mail Executive Director Cheryl Hall at 347-403-3642 at cars46@aol.com.

ABOUT HOUSING WORKS
Housing Works is the nation’s largest community-based AIDS organization and the nation’s largest minority-controlled AIDS organization. Since 1990, Housing Works has provided a comprehensive array of lifesaving services, such as housing, medical and dental care, meals, case management, counseling and job training, to more than 20,000 homeless or low-income New Yorkers living with HIV/AIDS. For more information, visit www.HousingWorks.org

Posted on January 27, 2010 at 7:22 pm

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