Ardsley High School’s Silver Lining Club will collect food donations for us at DeCicco’s Market on Sunday, October 26th.
Now that we’re in the second half of October (where does it go?), it’s time to start thinking about the holidays…and for many of you, that means thinking about making food donations to our food pantries. Check out these upcoming opportunities to drop off non-perishable foods, or organize your own food drive like the kind people at the Woodlands Community Temple!
The Woodlands Community Temple filled our Hawthorne food pantry with the results of the food drive they held on Saturday, October 4th at their Yom Kippur services. The congregation’s response was so overwhelming that they had to rent a truck to transport all the non-perishable foods to us. Volunteers unloaded 151 boxes of food last week. This much-needed food will go towards our emergency food closet for our clients’ families and those who need emergency service. Thank you to to the Woodlands Community Temple, and organizer Sandi Leib-Geiger!
There are only a few spots left at our Cheese and Wine Tasting Party on November 5th at the Beacon Pantry in (where else?) Beacon! If sampling delicious gourmet cheese, charcuterie and fine wines is your thing, then this is an event you don’t want to miss. We’ve got a total of only 10 spots, and they’re going fast! Reserve your seat in advance by getting your ticket today using this link:
It can be tough for Medicaid clients with serious, ongoing medical issues to navigate between medical providers, government benefits, and social support services. That’s where the Health Home program comes in. An HVCS care manager coordinates all available services as part of an overall care plan with the goal of better health and quality of life, and fewer unnecessary trips to the emergency room or hospitalizations each year.
We’ve already expanded our care managers’ services beyond HIV/AIDS, and as of this month we’re able to help even more clients: we just received word that New York State has expanded the list of qualified medical conditions. The list of qualified diseases now includes chronic pain, cancers and liver issues, plus a lot more.
HVCS has been expanding its staff to serve more clients, and we’re taking the initiative to make more medical providers aware of our services. We’re continuing to build collaborative relationships with a wide network of providers to ensure all our clients get the care and services they need. Autumn truly is a season of change here at HVCS!
HVCS just received word that we will receive a $2,500 grant from HPNAP (Hunger Prevention & Nutrition Assistance Program) to support our emergency food closet and Green Thumb food distribution program at the Mosaic Center in Mt. Vernon. This grant will allow us to continue to give stipends to peer outreach workers to assist us on Green Thumb food distribution days, which are typically the busiest of the month. Special thanks to our peers, Mosaic staff, and THRIVES nutritional program workers who do an amazing job getting fresh produce to hungry families so quickly!
We’re pleased to announce that our Project Reach Out van, which provides syringe exchange services, HIV/hepatitis C screenings and referrals to drug treatment, now offers low threshold medical care for clients. A part-time registered nurse joined our PRO staff in July, offering basic wound care, general health information and referrals to medical treatment. Barbara Bennet, HVCS’ Education Director, said: “Having a nurse on board the mobile unit builds trust within the community. We can also help those who traditionally avoid medical care to identify infections and early warning signs of much more complex issues.” Clients can access this low threshold medical care at PRO’s Poughkeepsie site on Mondays and Thursdays. For more information, visit the PRO page on our website.
Since the majority of our clients live at or below the poverty level, our care managers frequently come across clients who are homeless, in temporary housing, or in danger of being evicted. They also struggle to afford basic utilities and services. It’s hard to maintain a healthy lifestyle when you’re worried about keeping a roof over your head or keeping the electricity flowing–and things get even tougher without housing.
Thankfully, HVCS’ three-year-old Housing program provides emergency and short-term rent and utility assistance for eligible HIV-positive clients. However, because of funding restrictions, this program wasn’t available for our non-HIV clients–until now. HVCS has allocated funds towards housing and utility emergencies for our Health Home clients living with chronic diseases other than HIV–so now all our clients in need can access emergency housing assistance to keep them safe, warm, and as healthy as possible.
“I’ve never seen a family survive with so little,” said one of our Health Home care managers this week. She let us know that a new client and her large family are in dire need of basic essentials, from children’s clothing to furniture to cleaning supplies. “They have almost nothing…no living room furniture, mattresses on the floor. Other school kids tease her girls for wearing the same clothes every day.” To help, we’re accepting donations for this local family:
Gift cards to popular stores like Wal-Mart and Target (for clothes and household items) or Staples (for school supplies): drop off at any office* or mail to: HVCS, 40 Saw Mill River Rd., Hawthorne NY 10532
Newly diagnosed with HIV? Or do you have questions about what it’s like to live with HIV? Check out Gilead Science’s new “HIV Answers” app for iPhone and Google. Designed for newly diagnosed HIV+ people, the app leads you through a series of questions to answer your immediate questions and connects you with any services you might need…and if you’re not ready to connect to services or help, the app provides more information about your current HIV status.
Plus, the app is password-protected and shows up in your app list with a discrete icon, so no one has to know what you’re researching.
If you’re looking for a short, simple way to describe HIV infection to someone newly diagnosed with HIV, check out Gilead’s “Help Stop the Virus” series on YouTube. “You may look fine. You may feel fine. But the virus is working away, causing harm to the body. That’s the trick HIV plays. Watch this video to see what HIV does and how treatment can help.”