UN-BEAR-ABLY GENEROUS | Dallas Bears on Saturday, June 25 distributed checks totaling $46,000 to four Dallas-area charitable organizations. Youth First Texas received $22,000, while AIDS Services of Dallas and AIDS Interfaith Network received $11,250 each. The Sharon St. Cyr Fund, which provides hearing aids for hearing-impaired individuals and makes grants to organizations for sign language interpreting services, got $1,500. The money was raised at the Texas Bear Round-Up in March.
AIDS service organizations in North Texas offer a variety of programs and services to people with HIV/AIDS — from case management, to meals, to housing. Here is a list of the major ASOs in North Texas, what programs and services they offer now, and what they plan to offer in the future:
• AIDS ARMS
351 West Jefferson Blvd. Suite 300
Dallas 75208; 214-521-5191
What they do: HIV testing and prevention, long term risk reduction intervention, community outreach and education, client eligibility and intake, case management, outpatient medical care, medication assistance, medical case management, substance abuse and mental health treatment and support, prison outreach and community re-entry, support groups, client education.
What’s new and upcoming: In May, AIDS Arms broke ground on their second clinic that should open by the end of the summer. In addition to providing health services for persons with HIV not currently accessing medical care, the new facility will have resource rooms to bring the services of a variety of agencies under one roof.
A new pharmacy will open in the facility to provide the medications needed by clients.
Research will take place at the new clinic including looking into new PrEP treatments for persons with HIV.
• AIDS Interfaith Network
501 N. Stemmons, Suite 200
Dallas TX 75207; 214-941-7696
What they do: Outreach, linguistic services, HIV prevention and prevention for minority women, client advocacy, transportation services, The Daire Center adult daycare, meals program, volunteer services, pastoral services.
What’s new and upcoming: Programmatically, Executive Director Steven Pace said the agency would like to shift more resources to prevention. Pace put together a coalition of four agencies — AIN, ASD, Legacy and Legal Hospice of Texas — that plan to locate in one building. The Coalition for HIV/AIDS Services, as the multi-tenant non-profit center will be known, is negotiating for a building in North Oak Cliff and hope to begin renovation in 2012. The new building would eliminate leasing, allow the agencies to pool some services and equipment and provide one-stop shopping for clients.
• AIDS Outreach Center
400 North Beach Street
Fort Worth 76111
What they do: The Sandy Lanier Nutrition Center, Geisel-Morris Dental Clinic, medical case management and mental health counseling programs.
What’s new and upcoming: Two years ago, AOC began offering more direct medical services with its dental clinic. Over the next two to three years, Executive Director Allen Gould said his agency would like to add more direct medical services including a clinic and a pharmacy to meet all of the needs of clients in one central location. He said they are determining whether to partner or build on their own to provide the services that would compliment what’s being done at the public hospitals.
• AIDS Service Dallas
P.O. Box 4338
Founded: 1985 as the People With AIDS Coalition
What they do: Housing. ASD operates four apartment complexes to serve 225 men, women and children in 125 privately configured apartments.
What’s new and upcoming: ASD partners with Community Housing Development Organization developers to create models of senior housing throughout North Texas. As a consultant/co-developer, ASD receives incentive fees, which is unrestricted money that goes toward AIDS programs. The agency already owns three lots behind Hillcrest House. ASD President and CEO Don Maison said that they’re working on zoning so they can develop the property. With 350 people on the waiting list for housing, Maison said he hopes to develop additional housing in Oak Cliff and elsewhere in the city.
• Anthony Chisom AIDS Foundation
P.O. Box 225104
Dallas, Texas 75222
What they do: Bring support, health and medicine to people living with HIV/AIDS in the form of help with COBRA payment assistance, medication payment assistance, bus passes, rent, utility and emergency assistance.
What’s new and upcoming: “We’re a new agency, so we’re securing more funding to do more of what we’re already doing,” said Anthony Chisom. In the fall, the agency hopes to be able to include cell phone bills in its utility assistance program. This fall, Chisom is taking an exploratory trip to Malawi with hope to open a clinic there and is looking for partners to help make that happen.
• A Sister’s Gift
1515 N. Town East Blvd. #138-380
What they do: Services for women with HIV including testing, counseling and group sessions, short-term emergency assistance, case management, buddy program, education programs.
What’s new and upcoming: “Being a seven-year-old agency, our primary agency objectives center around introducing the community and stakeholders to our female-based service structure — being apparent females living with HIV need a different type of support than what was provided 30 years ago,” said Executive Director and CEO Cheryl Lewis Edwards. “Our long-term strategic plan hopes that ASG can serve as a catalyst for the community, clients and families to talk about HIV with the same ease the public now speaks about breast cancer.”
• Health Services of North Texas
4210 Mesa Drive
Denton, Texas 76207
Founded: 1988 as AIDS Services of North Texas
What they do: With offices in Denton, Plano and Greenville, HSNT serves a five-county area including Rockwall and Kaufman Counties and areas of Dallas north of LBJ Freeway. HSNT provides a variety of services from HIV testing to transportation, primary health care services, food pantry, insurance assistance and case management.
What’s new and upcoming: The agency is focusing on becoming a Federally Qualified Health Center and expanding in the direction of providing primary health care to low-income people while continuing a special focus on persons with HIV.
• Legal Hospice of Texas
3626 N. Hall, Suite 820
Founded: in 1989 as Dallas Legal Hospice
What they do: Legal services for low-income persons diagnosed with terminal illnesses or HIV disease.
What’s new and upcoming: Executive Director Roger Wedell said that as people live longer, the cases his agency handles become more complex. Founded to do simple estate planning, Legal Hospice now works on complex long-term disability and employment issues that may take months to resolve. He said he thought that trend will continue.
• Legacy Counseling Center
4024 McKinney Ave., Suite 102
What they do: Mental healthcare, substance abuse treatment, and special care housing services for people challenged with HIV and AIDS.
What’s new and upcoming: Executive Director Melissa Grove said that Legacy has had 1100 percent growth over the last decade. The agency is looking for new therapists, especially gay male therapists, to meet the need. Legacy is also planning to expand its women’s programs so that women from around the state can attend its retreats. Fewer terminal patients stay at Legacy Cottage that once exclusively did hospice care. More people are at a crucial moment of their illness who are integrated back into a productive life.
• Resource Center Dallas
3701 Reagan St.
Founded: in 1983 as the Foundation for
What they do: Operate the AIDS Resource Center, Nelson Tebedo Clinic, AIDS Food Pantry as well as the Gay and Lesbian Community Center.
What’s new and upcoming: Currently RCD is expanding dental programs and has a capital campaign to build new community center on land already purchased that is adjacent to Cathedral of Hope on the corner of Inwood and Cedar Springs Roads. The Center will bring all of its programs under one roof and continue to provide additional meeting space and services for community groups. Executive Director Cece Cox said that over the next few years, the agency is looking to expand a number of health programs to the general LGBT community that are now funded only for people with HIV and a new major focus will be general wellness programs.
• Samaritan House
929 Hemphill St.
Fort Worth 76104
What they do: Housing and resources for persons living with HIV/AIDS and other special needs in Fort Worth.
What’s new and upcoming: After being refused a zoning variance last year for an additional property, Samaritan House recently began a collaboration with another non-profit to operate 184 units of quality, affordable housing for low-income individuals and families. Over the next few years, President and CEO Steve Dutton said that he hopes to provide additional housing for people with HIV/AIDS.
Thirty years after the first cases of what would eventually come to be known as AIDS were discovered in gay men in Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York, the struggle to contain the world-wide epidemic continues.
But where do we stand today in that fight, 28 years after HIV was determined to be the cause of AIDS, and 24 years after the FDA approved AZT as the first real treatment to fight HIV?
On Tuesday, June 28, Dallas Voice — in partnership with Cathedral of Hope and a slate of business sponsors and community organization partners — presents “AIDS at 30: A Community Forum,” to explore the questions of where we are now in the fight, and where we are headed.
The forum will be held at Cathedral of Hope’s Interfaith Peace Chapel, 5910 Cedar Springs Road. Doors open at 6 p.m., and the forum runs from 6:30 p.m to 8 p.m.
The forum is free and open to the public.
“We decided to produce this forum, ‘AIDS at 30,’ from a ‘today and tomorrow’ perspective,” said Robert Moore, Dallas Voice publisher.
“We all know the story of AIDS over the last 30 years. What people are really hungry for now is a real-world look at where HIV prevention and treatment are headed over the next decade,” Moore added. “People want to know that there is hope for a cure, and that the issue of HIV and AIDS is not yesterday’s story, but that it is, indeed, tomorrow’s story.”
The forum will be divided into three sections, with AIDS Arms Associate Executive Director Manisha H. Maskay, Ph.D., leading off on the topic of “HIV Prevention Strategies and Challenges for the Next Decade.”
Maskey has more than 30 years of experience in the field of public health, medical nutrition therapy and health education and behavior change. In addition to her work at AIDS Arms as both associate executive director and director of community and client services, she has worked for the Columbus Health Department in Columbus, Ohio, and as an assistant professor of medicine and director of clinical nutrition and health education services at the University of Chicago.
Dr. Brady Allen, M.D., with Uptown Physicians Group will lead the discussion on the evening’s second topic, “HIV/AIDS Treatment Today.”
Dr. Allen, who graduated from Southwestern Medical School in Dallas and completed his internship and residency at New Haven Hospital in Connecticut, has been one of the preeminent doctors in treating HIV/AIDS since the early days of the epidemic in Dallas.
After a brief retirement in 2008, he returned to Dallas and to Uptown Physicians in January 2009 to continue his practice.
Dr. Chris Evans, M.D., M.P.H., with AIDS Arms’ Peabody Health Center in Oak Cliff, winds up the presentation with a discussion on “What is the Future of HIV Treatment? The Facts. The Hope. The Fiction.”
A Yale University graduate, Dr. Evans completed medical school at Drexel University in Philadephia before completing his residency in Internal Medicine and a fellowship in Infectious Diseases at Montefiore Hospital in The Bronx. He has been involved in clinical researcher on HIV/AIDS since 2001 and has participated as a sub-investigator in more than 15 studies on HIV/AIDS treatments.
The forum concludes with an opportunity for audience members to ask questions of the panelists.
Platinum sponsors for the forum are Uptown Physicians Group and the Vasquez Clinic. Rx Partners Pharmacy is a gold sponsor.
Community organizations partnering with Dallas Voice to present the forum are AIDS Arms, AIDS Outreach Center of Tarrant County, AIDS Interfaith Network, AIDS Services of Dallas and Resource Center Dallas.
Proceeds from sponsorships and donations go to Lone Star Ride Fighting AIDS, the annual bike ride that raises funds for AIDS Services of Dallas, AIDS Outreach Center and Resource Center Dallas.
The annual No Tie Dinner and Dessert fundraiser, which celebrated its fifth year at city-wide dinner parties and a dessert and auction bash at the Frontiers of Flight Museum after, had a banner year, the organizers are reporting.
The March 27 event raised more than $128,000 for AIDS Services of Dallas, with 1,600 partygoers at 46 dinner events — up 22 dinners from last year.
You might be aware the Purple Party is just around the corner. The annual dance party benefiting AIDS Services of Dallas is a weekend long affair happening across a slew of nightclubs throughout the city. You can see the schedule and list of DJs here. But I just saw today that former Destiny’s Child singer Michelle Williams is headlining the Saturday night affair at the House of Blues on May 1.
Outside of the group, Williams is known mostly for her urban contemporary gospel music but released her first pop/R&B album, Unexpected in 2008. She just finished up a seven-week stint as Roxie Hart in Chicago on Broadway. Which is all fine and dandy, but really, who can forget the singer’s’ tearful moment from the first season of RuPaul’s Drag Race where Akashia’s lipsynced for her life with Williams’ single, “We Break the Dawn.” It was delightfully cheesy.
In contrast, her video for the single is kinda sexy.