In the third of three annual grant rounds that make up its National Grants Program, Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS awarded $1,676,100 in early June to 324 AIDS and family service organizations nationwide.
BC/EFA has developed funding opportunities for social service organizations whose essential work enhances the quality of life for people living with HIV/AIDS and supports the integrity of families, by every definition of the word, who live each day with the multiple challenges of this disease.
"HIV has always created and helped to perpetuate perpetuating economic hardship," BC/EFA Executive Director Tom Viola says. "Even with availability of anti-viral medications, for many it magnifies issues of poverty, the absence of decent, affordable health care, addiction, homelessness and a fraying network of resources."
Disconnection from the most basic social services can be devastating for a person living with HIV/AIDS.
"It can be the beginning of the end," Viola says. "That disconnection could keep a mother or a brother on medications from sticking to their essential drug regimens, which then compromises their own health and increases the likelihood they'll be unable or unwilling to follow other prevention and safe sex practices."
The AIDS service providers supported through Broadway Cares' third annual grant round address these specific and serious challenges for hundreds of thousands of people living with HIV/AIDS across the country.
This grant round covers four categories: Direct Services; Emergency Financial Assistance; Harm Reduction Programs and Quality of Life Services.
Direct Services grants were awarded to 96 providers in 33 states, Washington, DC and Puerto Rico for a total of $511,100. Direct Services includes support programs that assist individuals living with HIV/AIDS with a wide range of needs including general case management, assistance with public benefits and disability payments, supportive housing programs, transportation, advocacy with a health provider and direct expenses such as personal care items.
Emergency Assistance grants totaling $685,000 were awarded to 127 providers in 42 states, Washington, DC and Puerto Rico. These grants include emergency or short-term support for utilities, rent, food vouchers, transportation or short-term health insurance premium support for people living with HIV/AIDS. These vital grants often bridge the gap in time between someone's initial illness and when public benefits or disability payments begin.
Grants for Harm Reduction Services totaling $322,500 were given to 48 providers in 18 states. These help fund projects focusing on injection drug users and others struggling with addition who are HIV-positive or at high-risk for HIV infection. Harm reduction is an important HIV prevention measure seeking to reduce new infections. Statistics prove that many who come to harm reduction services connect with other social services as a result. As the chaos surrounding their lives is reduced, some take the first steps toward recovery.
The fourth category in this round, Quality of Life grants, awarded $157,500 to 45 organizations in 23 states and Washington, DC. These grants provide financial support to programs for people living with HIV/AIDS and their families, including group outings, art and hobby supplies, pet support, recreational activities and summer camps for children. While these efforts may not appear as substantial as our grant-making on nutrition, housing and health care, they make a profound difference in the lives of families and children for whom these simple pleasures are otherwise impossible.
In the first round of grants in January for food service and meal delivery programs, BC/EFA awarded $1,345,000 to 123 organizations.
In March, 40 nationally recognized AIDS service organizations, health clinics and advocacy organizations received $680,000.
With this third and largest grant round of $1,676,100 in June, a grand total of $3,701,000 has been awarded to 487 AIDS and family service providers in 2011 through BC/EFA’s National Grants Program.
This represents a nearly full recovery from the necessary cuts that were made in BC/EFA’s funding since its highest levels in 2008. It also comes at a time when government and private foundations continue to cut back and, in some states, eliminate funding for AIDS services altogether. Additionally, since 2008, a number of AIDS service providers have merged, consolidating services and administrative costs to survive funding cuts. Sadly, some have had to close their doors.
||BC/EFA’s Support Over the Last Five Years
||$3,521,500 awarded to 500 AIDS service organizations
||$3,953,000 awarded to 535 ASOs
||$3,125,000 awarded to 462 ASOs
||$3,720,000 awarded to 475 ASOs
||$3,701,100 awarded to 487 ASOs
|BC/EFA grants make an impact immediately.
The morning of the grants committee's June meeting, Broadway Cares Executive Director Tom Viola received a letter from a previous round’s grant recipient:
"Thank you for the recent $7,500 grant to Our House in Portland, OR. We witness on a daily basis the challenges that people living with HIV/AIDS face. As the only AIDS care facility in the Portland area, this generous gift enables us to continue doing good reaching many without resources and who would otherwise go without services. Our thanks to everyone at BC/EFA and especially the supporters and folks in the theatre community who make your grants possible."
Confirming that what we do together makes a difference.
In addition to the support provided to hundreds of AIDS and family service organizations through BC/EFA’s National Grants Program, $3,675,000 has been awarded in 2011 to support essential programs at The Actors Fund. These include the HIV/AIDS Initiative, the Phyllis Newman Women’s Health Initiative, the Al Hirschfeld Free Health Clinic, the Actors Fund Work Program, The Dancers' Resource and more, providing a safety net of social services to thousands in the entertainment industry in times of need, crisis and transition.
Emergency grants to AIDS service organizations, such as a $10,000 grant sent in early June to Doorways and AIDS Project of the Ozarks following the devastating tornadoes that struck Joplin, MO, and further support for The Actors Fund will continue through 2011.