Strengthening Housing Resources in Chicago
AIDS Foundation Chicago knows that housing is healthcare—that it is an extreme challenge for individuals living with HIV/AIDS to stay on top of their health while they are experiencing homelessness and unable to secure stable employment and income and thus food and medicine. Midwestern winters compound the problem and many are left vulnerable without safe, decent housing.
That’s why AIDS Foundation Chicago has made ending homelessness a priority in its project to end the HIV epidemic. The AIDS service provider was recently named one of twenty local governments and nonprofits to receive a HOPWA (The Housing Opportunities for Persons With AIDS) grant.
Distributed by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s office of HIV/AIDS housing, the $2,250,000 grant will help AFC strengthen its already successful efforts, particularly through the Center for Housing and Health (CHH), an organization that has partnered with AFC. CHH’s defines its mission on its website: “Housing first is a philosophy that links people experiencing homelessness to safe and affordable permanent housing quickly and with minimal barriers, so people can start their journey to a healthier life sooner.”
Through its Flexible Housing Pool (FHP) program, CHH and AFC have housed 285 households in 2021 (an increase from 133 households in 2019 and 2020 combined). Currently 395 households are housed and the organizations forecast that at least 425 will have been housed by the end of 2021. FHP’s rentention rates are stellar: 99.5% of households remain in housing at the 6-month point; 96.6% of households remain in housing at the 12-month point.