CHICAGO, IL — It was announced that local non-profit leader in AIDS services, Chicago House, was selected as one of eight national grant sites to study the link between HIV and retention in care of transgender women of color. The study, which will be housed in Chicago House's all new TransLife Center (TLC), will allow $300,000 per year for the next five years from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) as a Special Program of National Significance.
The TLC programming will serve as a collaborative comprehensive and multi-strategy approach to identifying HIV-positive transgender women of color who are out of care, while engaging them successfully in accessible, quality HIV primary care.
In leveraging the resources and expertise of five project partners — AIDS Foundation of Chicago, Center On Halsted, Lurie Children's Hospital, Heartland Health Outreach, and South Side Help Center — Chicago House will identify transgender women of color living with HIV, create a broad network of culturally competent healthcare providers, and deliver an array of services that help marginalized transgender women overcome barriers to care.
"The TransLife Center Programming will incorporate three tiers of support to the habitually overlooked "T" in the LGBT community," commented Chicago House CEO, Stan Sloan. "TransHousing will provide a safe and understanding home to transgender men and women, through the rebirth of our original 24-hour-care building in Edgewater and multiple scattered site units throughout the city. TransWorks, an offshoot of our highly successful employment program, will work with trans men and women to identify their unique employment placement needs and prepare them for the workplace through resume writing, interview skills, and connections to culturally competent job opportunities." Sloan continued, "The final element, TransHealth, will connect trans men and women to non judgmental health care addressing their unique needs through Dr. Rob Garafolo of Lurie Children's Hospital."
HRSA, an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is the primary Federal agency for improving access to health care services for people who are uninsured, isolated or medically vulnerable.
"Chicago House remains committed to providing the best in services to the homeless and HIV affected, and the integral TransHealth funding from HRSA further validates the needs that we have identified within the transgender community," Sloan said. "The growth in reaching out to this population represents the same trailblazing growth our founders had in mind 27 years ago, and it is a wonderful next incarnation for our former hospice site. The transgender community has been so strategic and receptive in helping us develop the programs, and we are excited to begin this next step of Chicago House's history."
About Chicago House
The first organization of it's kind in the Midwest, since 1985 Chicago House has provided permanent housing and supportive services to men, women and children living with HIV and AIDS. Their programs have since expanded to include community case management, substance abuse counseling, HIV prevention, medical adherence and the Midwest's first employment training and placement program specific to people with HIV. Chicago House also offers free, anonymous rapid HIV testing. For more information, visit www.chicagohouse.org .