A Special Announcement: No Hudson Valley AIDS Walk 2017

April 24th, 2017

If you’re a longtime supporter, you may be wondering why you haven’t yet seen anything about the Hudson Valley AIDS Walk, usually held in May. The Hudson Valley Community Services will not be holding its customary Hudson Valley AIDS Walk this year.

After twenty-four years of holding the AIDS Walk, we felt that it was time for a big change. We’ve been tweaking the AIDS Walk each year to respond to your feedback and bring in new supporters and community partners. The time has come for more than tweaks—we need a complete reset. This decision was made in conjunction with our Board of Directors, our volunteer AIDS Walk committee, key staff members and feedback from past supporters. We are excited to announce that our staff and volunteers are working together to create new events that inspire and motivate our donors, participants and volunteers, and will bring in even more resources to help our clients.

Our new focus includes making the commitment to better serving our clients by identifying key fundraising targets. We look forward to sharing more success stories so you get to know our clients—and you see how your contributions are helping them. We’re committing to a more personal approach to community partnerships. And we promise that fighting HIV/AIDS and helping Hudson Valley residents living with AIDS are still top priorities.

With all these changes we don’t want to lose sight of an underlying principle: our clients still need you! We hope that as we embark on a new direction in our fundraising efforts that you’ll be more energized and passionate about the work HVCS does in the Hudson Valley. Our fundraising staff is hard at work on new ways for you to remain involved. We’re always open to your ideas and feedback, too. Let us know what interests you and how we can meet your goals for helping your community. Thank you for your past support, and we look forward to working with all our supporters as we move forward together.

We Still Need You!

What’s Next?

We’re forming a committee to help plan a new grassroots event—The Most Important Meal, a breakfast to raise funds for our food and nutrition
programs. We need volunteers to help sell tickets, line up sponsors, sell journal ads, and collect silent auction items. The Most Important
Meal will be coming to a Mid-Hudson location in Fall 2017. If you’re interested in volunteering on the committee, contact Anthony Accomando at (914)
785-8277 or aaccomando@hudsonvalleycs.org.

Host an Event for HVCS

Create your own mini-fundraiser by hosting a third-party event. It doesn’t have to be big or fancy, or raise a large amount to make a difference. All it takes is the desire to pitch in and an idea for a gathering. Organizing your friends, family and community and asking them to contribute small amounts can really add up! Help HVCS by organizing:

  • Potluck dinners
  • Walks, hikes or bike rides
  • Bake sales
  • Loose change collections
  • Charity days at your business: collect donations from employees or donate a percentage of all sales
  • Food drives
  • Paint-and-sip parties
  • Guest bartender nights
  • The possibilities are endless!

If you’re interested or you’ve got an idea, contact J. Dewey at (914) 785-8326 or jdewey@hudsonvalleycs.org.

NYS Sen. David Carlucci Visits Our Rockland Office to Announce “HomeStart” Funding

April 12th, 2017

Thanks to New York State Senator David Carlucci, Hudson Valley Community Services (HVCS) is creating a new program for people who are transitioning from homelessness or living in a shelter to permanent housing. The program, to be called HomeStart, will supply newly housed individuals with basic “starter kits” to set up their new homes. Carlucci secured $50,000 of State funding to assist disadvantaged Rockland County residents.

We created this program to alleviate a huge problem faced by those who move into permanent housing. After life on the streets or in shelters, they often lack the basic equipment to independently sustain themselves and their families, and supplies like sheets, towels, kitchenware and cleaning supplies are not available through food banks or traditional housing programs.

The program targets under-served communities and specifically people who commonly use the emergency room and hospital for care. Our expanded care management services for people living with chronic illnesses put us in touch with an ever-growing number of clients who are homeless or in unstable housing situations. We can also customize the kits based on the number of family members and lifestyles. The HomeStart kits will make the recipients more secure and self-sufficient in new housing, and keeps them engaged in the programs and services that sustain their health.

When the Senator announced his support for the program, he said: “Newly housed individuals and families often come from a homeless situation or from living with friends or family and have no basic household items. HVCS’ HomeStart initiative will alleviate those costs by providing materials and allowing these individuals or families to direct their resources to obtaining the best healthcare they can.” We are delighted to collaborate with Senator Carlucci to ease the burden on low-income people who are restarting their lives in new housing, and we offer our sincere thanks.

Casting Company Looking for Real People Living With HIV

March 23rd, 2017

GENUINE, a casting company, is casting a project featuring Real People with HIV, and they asked us to spread the word. They’re looking for real people who have been diagnosed with HIV to be featured in a Video and Print campaign. Those selected will be compensated.

If interested, fill out the online questionnaire at the link below ASAP to be considered:
It’s a nationwide search so please feel free to SHARE this information with anyone you think may be interested.

HVCS does not endorse nor receive compensation from GENUINE. We simply thought you might like to know!

Employee Spirit Day at HVCS: Go Green or Rainbow!

March 17th, 2017

On Friday, March 17, 2017–St. Patrick’s Day–HVCS held its first Employee Spirit Day of the year with a “Go Green or Rainbow!” theme. Staff who opted to participate came dressed in their Irish (for a day) best or in rainbow hues. Employees also donated to the “pot of gold” at the end of the rainbow–raising funds for our new Employee Directed Fund. This new pool of contributions will be doled out by a committee made up entirely of staff members. The committee is currently gathering ideas for projects and programs that will directly and concretely help our clients and outreach contacts.

Thanks to everyone who participated!

Free Buprenorphine Waiver Training Offered in Sullivan Co on May 6

March 8th, 2017

The NYSDOH, AIDS Institute is sponsoring a free buprenorphine waiver training for clinical providers in Monticello on Saturday, May 6, 2017 from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm. Breakfast will be provided.

In response to the opioid overdose deaths in New York State, increased access to buprenorphine treatment for opioid overdose disorder is urgently needed. Physicians, Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants are welcome and highly encouraged to attend this training. Under current regulations, clinical providers are required to obtain a ‘waiver’ to prescribe buprenorphine. Physicians can acquire this waiver by attending and completing a standardized and required 8-hour training. This training is offered in a half-and-half format [4 hrs of online training followed up by 4 hrs of in-person training]. Upon completion, providers will meet the requirement of the DATA 2000 to be qualified to prescribe buprenorphine for opioid-dependent patients. NPs and PAs are required to complete an additional 16 hours of online training.

Register online today!

Trainers: Kelly Ramsey, MD, Hudson River HealthCare, Poughkeepsie, NY Sharon Stancliff, MD, Harm Reduction Coalition, New York, NY

Where: Ted Stroebele Recreation Center, 10 Jefferson St., Room 1, Monticello, NY 12701

Questions: NYSDOH, AIDS Institute, Office of Drug User Health Stephen Crowe, 212-417-4558, stephen.crowe@health.ny.gov or Lyla Hunt, 518-473-7428, buprenorphine@health.ny.gov

Service Providers: Join Your Colleagues for “Health Cares” an LGBTQ+ Healthcare Conference

February 28th, 2017

Several Dutchess County providers are banding together to present “Health Cares: A Conference for Providers” on Friday, April 28, 2017 from 9 am to 3 pm at Vassar College. The conference will focus on the LGBTQ+ community and access to healthcare.

The keynote speaker will be Yonah EtShalom, a nurse practitioner. They are the founding program director for Transgender Health Services and they have long been an advocate for transgender health issues and public health education programs. The conference will also cover cultural competency,  trans experiences in healthcare, intimate partner violence, and barriers to health care.

There is no cost to attend, and lunch will be provided. Registration is required: contact Emily Berkowitz at: emilyb@gracesmithhouse.org, or register online at: www.tinyurl.com/HealthCaresDC.

The conference will be held in Ely Hall-Aula at Vassar College, 124 Raymond Avenue, Poughkeepsie.

Thanks to Whole Foods for donating hot cocoa to our PRO program!

January 19th, 2017

Whole Foods donationOn January 18, 2017, Whole Foods in White Plains, NY donated a case of organic hot cocoa to our Project Reach Out (PRO) program. This is the perfect donation since the PRO team gets out there on the streets in all kinds of weather to talk to high-risk individuals about staying safe from HIV/AIDS. Many of PRO’s contacts are homeless or living in shelters. Thanks to Whole Foods, we can offer them a hot cup of cocoa while we meet with them inside our van. PRO provides HIV testing, information and referrals on PrEP, and referrals for substance abuse assistance.

Syringe Exchange Program Expands to Sullivan and Ulster Counties

December 7th, 2016

HVCS’ Syringe Exchange Program (SEP) is pleased to announced that it now serves Sullivan and Ulster counties, in addition to Dutchess and Orange. The New York State Department of Health’s Harm Reduction Unit recently approved our plan to expand our successful syringe exchange van program to Kingston and Monticello.

The discrete SEP van will be located in Kingston at Elmendorf Street between Broadway and Tremper Avenue on Tuesdays and Fridays from 10:00 am to 12 noon and 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm.

The van will also operate in Monticello on Mondays and Fridays from 11:30 am to 12:30 pm and 1:30 pm to 2:30 pm, but interested clients and referring agencies must call (845) 476-2190 OR (845) 234-5225 for location.

The SEP program has kept thousands of used syringes off of the streets and out of the Poughkeepsie and Newburgh communities thus far. Program staff regularly offer trainings on the overdose prevention drug Narcan/Naloxone, and have saved several lives. Staffers estimate that the clients they have trained to administer Narcan themselves revive between three and five overdosing peers each month.

For more information on SEP, please call (845) 476-2190 or (845) 234-5225.

New HIV Testing Ad Campaign to Launch Soon

December 7th, 2016

UnknownCampaign_AfrAmThe AIDS Institute is pleased to announce a new statewide media campaign to promote HIV testing.

The campaign message is:

Worst HIV Status: Unknown

Not testing leaves you in the dark.  Testing puts you in control.

The campaign includes materials in English and Spanish.  Key messages encourage people to talk with their health care provider about HIV testing and the campaign includes a link to the CDC HIV testing locator (https://gettested.cdc.gov/)  to help people find community-based testing options.

This campaign, developed in conjunction with Better World Advertising, will begin sometime in December or January and will feature the following:

  • Various digital ads and use of social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Google ads and others
  • Convenience store, hair/nail salon and bar ads
  • Transit ads, including bus shelters and subway ads
  • Other media

The campaign website, which is now active, is www.hivtestny.org.  The Spanish language website can be accessed by clicking on En Espanol at the top of the site.

“Testing All Queens” Gets Its Own Afterparty

November 29th, 2016

This just in! The Queens and Kings of New Paltz announced that their HVCS fundraiser, “Testing All Queens,” extends beyond the on-campus dinner and show this Saturday night with an official afterparty at Village Pizza! Join them for more shenanigans, $11 pies, and drink specials at this popular New Paltz hangout starting at 10:00 pm. Plus, there will be a surprise drag show at midnight so you get two shows in one night! $2 cover to benefit HVCS.

Testing All Queens Afterparty18 and up, 21 to drink. For more info on Testing All Queens see our previous post.