Since 2010, our Positive Living Housing Program, which is funded by Housing Opportunities for Persons With AIDS (HOPWA), has been providing independent housing to people living with AIDS. HOPWA is a tenant-based housing program administered through Action Wellness and funded by the Office of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Participants in the program, with the help of their assigned Action Wellness Housing Specialist, locate their own housing in the community and receive a subsidy to assist with rent payments. Participants pay approximately 30 percent of their monthly household income directly to the landlord, and Action Wellness pays the remaining monthly rental fee. The program consistently remains at full capacity. Participants of HOPWA may also receive case management services from Action Wellness to help them create and maintain a household budget and to ensure that rent and utilities are being paid on time.
Homelessness and lack of housing are among the most critical threats facing people living with HIV/AIDS and other chronic diseases. The Housing Counseling program at Action Wellness works to prevent homelessness and promote economic and social self-reliance among individuals living with chronic disease. Our Housing Specialists help clients who are facing eviction to stay in their homes, and assist homeless clients with finding emergency shelter housing so they can eventually move to stable, affordable housing. Currently, the Housing Counseling program serves over 600 individuals and families each year. Our Housing Specialists work closely with clients to identify housing needs, negotiate housing services, offer training and advocacy as it relates to tenants’ rights and responsibilities, and provide referral and linkages to subsidized housing programs.
Casa Nueva Vida
In 2004, Action Wellness opened Casa Nueva Vida (CNV); 12 apartments which offer supportive housing to homeless individuals and families living with HIV. In addition to providing stable and permanent housing, the program ensures that clients are linked with case management and housing services. Each client also works with an Assistant Case Manager who provides practical in-home support. Clients are also linked to employment and skills training, mental health services and drug and alcohol treatment, as needed. Clients and staff enjoy a community garden that provides space for socialization as well as fresh fruits and vegetables. A women’s support group meets monthly and topics include art therapy, cooking classes and preparing for interviews and volunteering. Casa Nueva Vida means House of New Life!