Funding cuts threaten to close HIV homeless shelter

By |2018-01-16T13:48:59-05:00November 2nd, 2006|News|

A funding cut of $125,000 from Housing Opportunities For Persons With AIDS could cause the closure of Off The Streets, a homeless shelter in Detroit for men living with HIV/AIDS.
“These medically fragile men will fall through the cracks of an already overburdened social service delivery system and will be homeless as a direct result of these cuts,” said Jim Lewis, Matrix vice president of Adult and Affiliate Programming, in a statement. “Over the next 12 months, approximately 35 HIV/AIDS diagnosed men will not receive the services they desperately need.”
Off The Streets, one of only two facilities for homeless men with AIDS in Detroit, received notice from the director of the City of Detroit HIV/AIDS programs that all funding for emergency/transitional housing and supportive services for people with AIDS would end on Nov. 30, according to a statement from Matrix Human Services.
Eight men currently reside in the facility and the majority of them have mental health and substance abuse issues that could worsen should Off The Streets close, according to Lewis.
“It’s provided a needed service for these men who have AIDS and they don’t have any place to live when they come out of correctional facilities,” Lewis said. “It serves a very useful purpose and has made the difference in the lives of a lot of these men.”
Lewis has requested assistance from public officials, including Gov. Jennifer Granholm, to reinstate funding for the shelter. Should the shelter close, Lewis worries what would happen to the men.
“We’d have to find another place for them to go,” he said. “We wouldn’t just put them out on the street, but they would not be living there anymore.”
To make a donation or to see how to get involved, contact Lewis at (313) 831-1000 ext. 11.

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Chris Azzopardi
As editor of Q Syndicate, the international LGBTQ wire service, Chris Azzopardi has interviewed a multitude of superstars, including Cher, Meryl Streep, Mariah Carey and Beyoncé. His work has also appeared in The New York Times, GQ, Vanity Fair and Billboard. Reach him via Twitter @chrisazzopardi.