Philly AIDS Thrift Announces $200,000 in Grants | Philadelphia Caller

Philadelphia, PA - Philly AIDS Thrift is pleased to award $200,000 this spring to 24 organizations and programs focused on HIV prevention and care, as well as for support people living with and affected by HIV/AIDS in the Delaware Valley.


24 Organizations Fighting HIV/AIDS During the Pandemic

Philadelphia's largest thrift store and non-profit organization have turned yesterday's treasures into $3,191,262 total dollars over the organization's 15 years to support Philadelphia regional organizations on the frontline of the HIV/AIDS crisis. This support has been more important than ever as non-profits throughout Philadelphia and across the country have been challenged financially during the continued global pandemic. The semi-annual grant program by Philly AIDS Thrift started back in 2014 as another way to serve the community - and it has continued even during the COVID crisis. The next request for grant proposals will take place towards the end of 2021. For more information about grant awards, donations, or how to get involved, please visit www.phillyaidsthrift.com or call 215-922-3186.

“We are proud and humbled to be able to fund these grants this year," said Philly AIDS Thrift Board President Michael Bryne. "The pandemic has hit each of us, including Philly AIDS Thrift. Closing for almost four months and sales being down has not dimmed our commitment to our mission. Our hardships pale in comparison to the many deserving programs doing the very real work relied upon by individuals across the Delaware Valley affected by HIV/AIDS."

2020 award winners and project summaries are as follows:

Action Wellness Michael Taylor Fund 

provides emergency basic necessities, emergency food and infant formula, seasonally appropriate clothing, and limited one-time eviction and essential utilities shut-off prevention assistance for 70 vulnerable HIV+ individuals who have been impacted by COVID-19. Now more than ever, support to the longstanding Michael Taylor Fund will help to ensure that the most vulnerable clients living with HIV are not lost to care.

AIDS Delaware Food Pantry

Wilmington and Rehoboth - distributes free food and personal care items to Delawareans living with HIV and AIDS while also living at or below 300% of the Federal Poverty Level. When possible, they also deliver food and personal care items to their clients during home visits. Due to COVID-19 and CDC Guidelines, they have modified our deliveries slightly, such as meeting clients in the Building lobby or delivering just outside their front door. They were also able to supply reusable cloth masks to all clients who needed them.

AIDS Law Project of Pennsylvania Legal Services

provides direct service to 250 people living with HIV in Pennsylvania and Southern New Jersey in preparing estate documents, obtaining identification documents, and supporting legal name changes. LGBT older adults, transgender individuals, and those who struggle with substance use are less likely to access life-saving healthcare and housing as well as documents needed. Their program also addresses the unmet need for legal name change assistance for the transgender community.

AIM Angels In Motion Outreach and Services

seeks to encourage health, empowerment, and safety for communities affected by drug use and poverty. Through outreach, advocacy, education, and direct services, AIM addresses the health and social service needs of Philadelphia’s most underserved populations - people who inject drugs and sex industry workers - by providing culturally sensitive, non-judgmental, and rapid HIV/HCV screenings and referrals to care services.

Attic Youth Center HIV Prevention Programming

will maintain its engagement of queer youth of color who are HIV positive or at high risk and will continue to adapt services to the COVID-19 era. The Attic’s experience indicates that each component of its programs and services is integral to enhancing the wellness of youth living with HIV as well as preventing the spread of HIV. Programs include: Youth-Led HIV Prevention Programming, Linkage to Care, Case Management, Workforce Development and Internships, and Youth Leadership Programming

Bebashi- Transition to Hope HIV/AIDS Services

While providing high-quality HIV/AIDS services remains core to Bebashi's mission, over the years, the organization has expanded its service mix to address the broader range of issues that affect the health and well-being of people who are marginalized, do not feel welcome, and often receive inferior care in mainstream settings. Bebashi works to reduce health disparities by addressing clients’ immediate needs as well as the underlying social determinants in their lives. Their service mix includes access to primary care, behavioral healthcare, HIV/AIDS services, food, case management, and navigation to other resources.

Black and Latinx Community Control Community Outreach/Symposium

Organizes the communities most impacted by HIV in Philadelphia - African Americans and Latinx - to have control over their health, specifically HIV. This will be accomplished by recognizing and acknowledging the social injustice issues generated by systemic racism that produce disparate HIV infections in black and Latinx communities, specifically LGBTQ populations. Disparate HIV infections mirror COVID 19 infections due to the same systemic racism. We intend to hold annual symposiums on National Black AIDS Awareness Day. It is the backbone of their group to determine the urgency of issues confronting our community and the campaigns we work on, as well as bring together black and brown LGBTQ people to dialogue in a safe, confidential, and welcoming symposium.

Camp Dreamcatcher, Inc. Camp Program

Provides free therapeutic, educational, and recreational programs for HIV/AIDS impacted youth. The shift to virtual programming required a core group of volunteers & staff attending webinars and training sessions on how to successfully create a diverse program that engaged children and teens. Camp Dreamcatcher switches between therapeutic, recreational, and educational programming to keep youth engaged physically and emotionally during the week.

Colours Organization The Kiki Lounge Program/The CAFCC Project

Provide support groups and sexual health services for both HIV-positive, HIV-negative, and HIV status unknown persons.

The KiKi Lounge Program

Provides a safe, welcoming space for LGBTQIA youth to congregate, mingle, and harness undiscovered talents and gifts and utilize them in friendly competition. This offers an opportunity for members to share different art-forms developed by a subculture to express grief, to protest social unrest and resist, and show resilience. By partnering with the dance studio and with COVID-19 CDC restriction applied the lounges were still communities impactful reaching 50% cap for each lounge. The CAFCC Project aims to prevent and/or reduce violence, substance abuse, and HIV/STD infection in Philadelphia’s sexual minority youth, their partners, peers, families, and communities; and to provide skills-building workshops to parents, teachers, and organizations serving youth. This project incorporates various elements of Community Promise; a CDC endorsed effective behavioral intervention.

Comite de Apoyo a los Trabajadores Agri­colas (CATA) HIV Prevention Program

Assists in providing the HIV prevention program to the farmworker community and low-wage Latino immigrant community in southern New Jersey (NJ). The purpose of CATA’s HIV prevention program is to implement a comprehensive and effective community-based HIV prevention program that will increase the target populations’ awareness of their HIV status by providing evidence-based behavioral interventions and strategies, promoting condom use, and linkages to HIV testing, medical care and treatment, medication, Partner Services, PrEP, and other emergent needs. Coordination and collaboration with other organizations and service providers will facilitate access to needed linkages that will assist in effectively reducing the target populations’ high-risk behavior for acquiring and/or transmitting HIV, Hepatitis, and other STD’s.

Congreso de Latinos Unidos, Inc. Esfuerzo Program

Which serves individuals living with or at risk for HIV/AIDS in one of the most impoverished neighborhoods in the city of Philadelphia. Specifically, Congreso requests support to purchase smartphones and Wi-Fi hotspots to enhance client engagement, increase clients’ ability to connect to resources and improve long-term outcomes during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Family Service of Chester County

Low-Cost HIV and STI Testing services (including a recently launched at-home STI testing program in partnership with Binx health) Community and Health Center-based sexuality education aimed to increase knowledge around HIV Prevention and reduced risk Access to PrEP & PEP services at all affiliate health centers In November 2021, PPKeystone is planning to launch gender-affirming care to our transgender, non-binary, and gender non-conforming patients. Internal efforts are currently underway to plan for the launch of this service.

Family Services of Montgomery County

Short Term support for utilities, and medical co-payments for consumers who are of limited means. We will provide assistance for 40 individuals during this grant year, with an average of $200 short-term support ($200 x 40 = $8000) As in the previous year, we have more clients who struggle with limited incomes and resources. COVID 19 has increased the need for assistance as clients with employment have seen their hours cut or loss of employment. Through these one-time grants in the past year, we have served 43 clients with average short-term support of $200. All 43 clients have remained stably housed and participating in our Medical Case Management program. These projects fulfill the mission of Philly AIDS Thrift and will definitely impact the lives of those we serve living with HIV/AIDS.

LGBT Elder Initiative The Thrivers Program

This program series, now offered virtually, supports older adults living with HIV to access resources, peer support, and educational content. Thrivers programs help participants to reduce isolation, form stronger social support networks and connect with resources and services to meet their healthcare, financial, psychological, social, and emotional needs.

Mazzoni Center Washington West Testing Site

To modify our service delivery model at Wash West. As we continue to navigate the ever-changing local and national public health guidelines required to continue in-person HIV/STI testing and support services these changes will ensure that we are able to safely and effectively provide critical services to our patients, clients, and the larger LGBTQ community.

Metropolitan Area Neighborhood Nutrition Alliance MANNA

Needs support for the costs of food, packaging, and nutrition counseling, for the nearly 170,000 meals we will deliver to our HIV/AIDS clients in our FY21, along with providing nutrition counseling.

Neighborhood United Against Drugs NUAD

Is creating a 10-month public awareness campaign that will target residents living in West and Southwest Philadelphia. It is designed to increase public awareness and educate people on the importance of practicing healthy lifestyles in order to reduce the risk of chronic disease.

One Day At A Time/ Urban Affairs Coalition Providing

Access to social services, food banks, and case management services for clients by way of transportation assistance. Regardless of whether a client identifies as a food bank consumer or a case management client, we want to be able to help.

Planned Parenthood Keystone

Low-Cost HIV and STI Testing Services (including a recently launched at-home STI testing program in partnership with Binx health) Community and Health Center-based sexuality education aimed to increase knowledge around HIV Prevention and reduced risk Access to PrEP & PEP services at all affiliate health centers.

Prevention Point Philadelphia The Syringe Services Program (SSP)

Which exchanges used syringes for new ones, distributing 5,896,200 syringes during 33,486 visits from 13,527 individuals in FY 2020. The SSP also provides access to information and resources for reducing the risk for HIV, HCV, and other drug-related harm, and acts as a gateway to the comprehensive social, medical, and legal services offered at PPP and the social service system at large.

Resources for Human Development Morris Home

Morris Home is a nine-bed residential drug and alcohol treatment program, serving members of the transgender and gender non-conforming community who are living with a substance use disorder or co-occurring disorder. It is the only program of its kind in the country.

Siloam Wellness From Food Pantry to Table

This latest pandemic has added challenges to providing Siloam’s food aid. Additionally, to alleviate neighborhood hunger, our food pantry is now open to our North Philadelphia neighbors, thereby stretching already limited resources.

SOL Collective SOL Collective

Aims to provide direct outreach to those most affected by the racist war on drugs and overdose epidemic living in Philadelphia. We are a group made up primarily of volunteers who have been impacted by drug use in one way or another and have a passion for harm reduction and meeting people where they are at, not where oppressive systems demand they be.

William Way LGBT Community Center Programming

The Arcila-Adams Trans Resource Center (TRC) will 1) provide PrEP education through a partnership with local healthcare providers providing prevention education including Einstein Health, Mazzoni Center, and Chop; 2) provide 2x monthly support groups facilitated by people of lived experience; and 3) provide monthly health and wellness workshops overseen by outside facilitators discussing topics and practices such as yoga, personal training, voice therapy, and diabetes education.

Philly AIDS Thrift

All funding and services are made possible from a unique business model, PAT, a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization, collects donated books, household items, fashions, toys, decorations, and other useful (and sometimes mysterious items) and resells them through two retail operations. The main retail space at 710 S. 5th Street features thousands of items on three floors in the heart of South Street Headhouse District. The second retail operation is called Philly AIDS Thrift @Giovanni’s Room and features thrift items, but also new books (in tribute to the former Giovanni’s bookstore that used to occupy the space). Proceeds from all of PAT’s operations have continued to grow, and the organization has given away over $3 million dollars and donated to the community.

“It is amazing to all of us that we have surpassed the milestone of giving away over $3 million dollars since our inception,” said PAT Founder/Manager Christina Kallas. We could not do it without our generous donors and enthusiastic shoppers. Our staff and volunteers work very hard every day to make sure that we can make the biggest difference possible in the lives of people living with and affected by HIV/AIDS across the Delaware Valley.”

As nice weather and spring-cleaning time of year approach, the announcement of these grants is also a well-timed reminder to consider making donations this spring to Philly AIDS Thrift and Philly AIDS Thrift at Giovanni's Room. Donations to Philly AIDS Thrift this spring and summer will turn into sales that will help shape the dollar amount giving in future grant cycles. Philly AIDS Thrift is also on the verge of expansion and exciting capacity-building plans. Stay tuned for more later this spring, including the launch of a new special campaign

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