Health & Wellness Update: Local HIV/AIDS Service Organizations

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HIV/AIDS service organizations provide assistance in many forms to people living with HIV/AIDS and their families and friends. These services may include counseling as well as HIV testing and referral resources. The organizations listed below offer additional information and resources on their web sites about HIV/AIDS, the services they provide, upcoming events, and much more.

Organization: African American AIDS Task Force (AAATF)
Serves: AAATF serves all people living with HIV/AIDS (primarily African Americans) who are below the federal poverty guideline, reside in the Twin Cities Greater Metropolitan Area, and are HIV positive, at high risk or affected by HIV/AIDS.
Location: 2400 Park Ave. S, Minneapolis
Web Address: www.aaatf.org
AAATF was established on World AIDS Day 1994 by African American people living with HIV/AIDS who desired to create a culturally appropriate response to address issues specifically related to African American people living in Minnesota. Current services provided by the AAATF include: medical case management, culturally appropriate support groups, medical transportation services, early intervention services, HIV testing, the Community Promise Program (African American gay and bi men), peer outreach and education, and mentoring and training. AAATF further extends its reach into the community by building strong relationships and partnering with community peers, resource providers, and other HIV care and service organizations.
Latest News: AAATF has recently been funded through Minnesota Department of Health Eliminating Health Disparities Initiative to conduct a “new” program, Community PROMISE. The Community PROMISE (Peers Reaching Out and Modeling Intervention Strategies) evidence-based HIV/STI prevention intervention relies on role model stories and peers from the target population.
Upcoming Events: AAATF will be participating in the Minnesota Fighting AIDS on Bikes upcoming Pedal Camp fundraiser which supports eight beneficiaries, all of which are Minnesota-based AIDS service organizations.

Organization: The Aliveness Project
Serves: People living with HIV/AIDS throughout Minnesota
Location: 3808 Nicollet Ave., Minneapolis
Web Address: www.aliveness.org
The Aliveness Project is a thriving nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting stability of health and wellness for people living with HIV/AIDS in Minnesota. Founded 30 years ago, Aliveness provides important supportive services such as food shelf, hot meals, case management, integrative therapies like massage and acupuncture, and HIV prevention/outreach programming. In addition, Aliveness provides much needed physical space for people impacted by HIV to participate in educational programming, build skills and, above all, create community.
Latest News: Use of the center continues to increase, particularly in the Nutrition Program (food shelf and meals). In August alone, Aliveness helped over 650 people living with HIV/AIDS with one of their programs.  Over the summer Aliveness added staff, integrative therapy rooms, a conference room, and a community room to accommodate and grow in-house activities and services. On the program front, Aliveness is developing the state’s first non-medical case management program and is leading an initiative to provide early intervention efforts and HIV testing and care linkage within several African-born communities. Staff continue to do HIV testing, outreach, case management and care linkage with some of the hardest to reach including people living with HIV/AIDS facing chronic mental health, chemical health and housing barriers.
Upcoming Events: Taste For Life Fundraiser Gala, Oct. 18 and the holiday gift program, providing a holiday gift for a person or family impacted by HIV/AIDS.

Organization: Clare Housing
Serves: People living with HIV/AIDS who are unable to access affordable housing and/or supportive healthcare for a number of reasons.
Location: Apartments and administration offices are located at 929 Central Ave. NE, Minneapolis, with additional apartments located throughout the metro.
Web Address: www.clarehousing.org
Clare Housing’s vision is global, envisioning an AIDS-free world built on a foundation of equitable access to housing and health care. Its mission is local, providing a continuum of affordable and supportive housing options that create healing communities and optimize the health of people living with HIV/AIDS. The Clare Housing team works closely with residents who may be having challenges maintaining stable housing and care. Its person-centered planning allows staff and residents to tailor services for each individual that define what “living well” means to them. Today, Clare Housing’s services include personal care support and homemaking, life skills support, linkages with services and resources, 24/7 nursing care and medical adherence support, and more.
Latest News: On Sept. 20well over 400 guests attended the A Place to Call Home Fundraising Breakfast at the Aria Event Center. Also, Clare Housing will break ground on Marshall Flats (36 units) in Northeast Minneapolis this fall, scheduled to open in 2017.
Upcoming Events: Journey Home Program, Oct. 5, demonstrates how affordable housing and supportive services improve the quality of life for people living with HIV in the Twin Cities.

Organization: Hope House of St. Croix Valley
Serves: Since 1991, Hope House serves people living with HIV who can no longer live independently, with a mission to provide a nonjudgmental home with compassionate care that respects the dignity of people living with HIV/AIDS.
Location: Stillwater, Minnesota
Web Address: www.hopehousescv.org
Upcoming Events: Each year, Hope House holds an annual fundraiser in August, this year the event name was changed to The Scott Zahren Memorial Cruise on the St. Croix to honor Hope House’s long-time executive director who passed away suddenly in April 2015.

Organization: Minnesota AIDS Project (MAP)
Serves: MAP serves everyone in Minnesota affected by HIV from those living with HIV to those at high-risk for HIV infection to the general public with questions about HIV.
Location: 2577 Territorial Rd., St. Paul
Web Address: www.mnaidsproject.org
MAP’s mission is to lead Minnesota’s fight to stop HIV through prevention, advocacy, awareness, and services. MAP provides services in the areas of legal, transportation, chemical health, prevention, emergency financial assistance, public policy, education, insurance benefits, HIV testing, support groups, MAP AIDSLine, case management, and housing.
Latest News: MAP is excited to announce new PrEP navigation services assisting people at risk for HIV infection with accessing this new and effective HIV prevention strategy.
Upcoming Events: MAP is thrilled to be part of Revlon’s Love Is On Million Dollar Challenge beginning on Sept. 14.

Organization: Open Arms of Minnesota
Serves: Every year, Open Arms provides nutritious, homemade meals to those living with HIV/AIDS and other life-threatening illnesses in the Twin Cities. Open Arms not only serves their clients, but also provide meals to their children and caregivers in order to help entire families and households cope with the effects of a serious illness.
Location: 2500 Bloomington Ave., Minneapolis, with a delivery area within the 494-694 loop.
Web Address: www.openarmsmn.org
Open Arms grows, prepares, and delivers nutritious meals to people living in the metro area with HIV/AIDS and other life-threatening illnesses, delivering over 500,000 meals per year with the generous help of over 5000 volunteers. Open Arms also grows produce to use in their meals at three urban gardens located in Minneapolis and St. Paul.
Latest News: Founded in 1986, Open Arms is celebrating their 30th anniversary this year. Everyone is invited to join the organization, which is always looking for more volunteers to help chop in the kitchen, harvest in the gardens, or deliver meals to clients.
Upcoming Events: Once a month, Open Arms turns into a pop-up restaurant and the trained chefs go crazy! The next pop-up dinner is Oct. 27. Also, on World Aids Day (Dec. 1), they will be celebrating 30 years with a screening of their historical video and a fun event.

Organization: Park House
Serves: People living with HIV/AIDS.
Location: 710 E 24th St. #303, Minneapolis
Web Address: www.allinahealth.com
Park House is a structured day health and mental health facility. At Park House, clients work with staff members in an environment that nurtures and supports each individual. Through medication management, art, music and recreation therapy, counseling, coaching, conversation, and structured activities, Park House fosters a sense of pride, creativity, and independence in each person. Park House provides nursing care, psychosocial therapies, nutrition (breakfast and lunch), and collaborative treatments with physicians, mental health professional, and case managers. Park House exists to enhance the quality of life, maximize human dignity, and promote the health, wellness, and independence of persons with HIV/AIDS.
Upcoming Events: On Oct. 15, Park House and the Twin Cities Gay Men’s Chorus proudly present Bingo-A-Go-Go “Fairy Tale Bingo” at the Hyatt Regency Hotel. Also, on World AIDS Day (Dec. 1), Park House will celebrate their 20-year anniversary.

Organization: Minnesota Fighting AIDS on Bikes (Red Ribbon Ride)
Serves: Money raised by the Red Ribbon Ride goes to numerous HIV/AIDS service organizations throughout Minnesota.
Location: 4447 3rd Ave. S, Minneapolis
Web Address: www.redribbonride.org
A four-day, 300-mile bicycle event to raise vital funds for eight HIV/AIDS service organizations providing services, treatment, and care for those living with and impacted by HIV.
Latest News: This was a record-breaking fundraising year with a 44 percent increase in funds raised and a 25 percent increase in participants of the event. For the third time in the history of the event, the Ride raised over $500,000, which has not happened since 2007. The total amount brought in by the event is not finalized but will likely be over $630,000.
Upcoming Events: Pedal Camp is a weekend camping event and bicycle ride at Camp One Heartland in Willow River, Minnesota from Sept. 23–25, with a 30- or 60-mile bicycle ride on the beautiful Willard Munger Trail and options to volunteer as crew.

Organization: Rural AIDS Action Network (RAAN)
Serves: People living with HIV/AIDS in greater Minnesota.
Location:  Five locations in St. Cloud, Mankato, Duluth, Grand Rapids, and Moorhead
Web Address: www.raaan.org
RAAN provides a range of services in greater Minnesota. Prevention services include outreach, education, and testing for HIV and HCV. For those living with HIV/AIDS, RAAN provides counseling, medical case management, and other supportive services. The Duluth location hosts a syringe exchange that provides clean syringes and supplies to people who inject drugs and Naloxone.
Latest News: RAAN just received a grant from the Department of Human Services Alcohol and Drug Abuse Division that will allow them to distribute Naloxone throughout the state.
Upcoming Events: Stay tuned!

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