Bailey House Receives $4 Million in HUD Funding
The Department of Housing and Urban Development recently awarded HIV/AIDS housing organization Bailey House with a landmark $1.1 million grant for Project First, a program to help ex-cons living with HIV/AIDS transition back into the community.
Bailey House, the nation’s first congregate residence for people living with AIDS, was the only organization in New York State to receive the grant, and one of only 28 nationally.
"These grants offer housing, vital healthcare, and hope to hundreds of households that combine to literally save lives," said U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Shaun Donovan. "Having stable housing can make all the difference to the health of someone living with HIV/AIDS who might otherwise be struggling to live on our streets."
The grant will be disbursed over three years with Bailey House receiving $340,641 each year to continue its Project FIRST program for recently released post-incarcerated people living with HIV/AIDS. Bailey House has received $4 million in HUD funding since 1993. HUD typically awards eight to 12 Special Project of National Significance (SPNS) grants across the country with an emphasis on fairness in geographical distribution.
The program provides tenant-based rental assistance for 27 households, including rent, mortgage, and utility assistance, plus transitional housing units. Supportive services provide for clients to enhance their work skills, improve the stability of their health, and promote financial independence.
Project FIRST is based at the Rand Harland Center in East Harlem. The HUD grants fund 80 percent of this program; without these funds, it would not exist. Every year, it will help provide 30 clients with housing placements, 80 to 90 clients with intakes and housing counseling, and for 20 to 25 individuals, participation in weekly housing issues workshops.
"Although HIV/AIDS had existed behind bars almost since the beginning of the pandemic, very little attention was paid to the health of those existing the correctional system," said Bailey House Chief Development Officer Cathy Krugman. "But as the population dramatically increased, so too did the number of those infected with HIV/AIDS. Project FIRST was an early response to this emerging crisis and drew national attention to the issue."
The grant was originally awarded by HUD as an SPNS in 2004, and according to Krugman, "Project FIRST was one of the first housing placement programs in the country created specifically to assist formerly incarcerated individuals living with HIV/AIDS the housing they needed to successfully re-enter into the community while focusing on improving and maintaining their health."
Project FIRST boasts a recidivism rate of ten percent compared with the national average of 44 percent. To that end, the SPNS grant is to provide a replicable model for other agencies looking for creative solutions to the socioeconomic problems they contend with. The award exemplifies HUD’s commitment to the work Bailey House does, and it allows other agencies nationwide an opportunity to learn about working with formerly incarcerated populations.
"There is nothing more critical to an HIV-positive person returning from prison than to find stable housing and access to healthcare. We are excited to partner with HUD to maintain and grow this important program," said Quattrochi.
For more info visit http://www.baileyhouse.org/services/project-first