Austin to get Millions in AIDS Funding
By Tyler Pratt
As much as $5 million in federal funding for people living with AIDS in Austin is on the way.
The announcement came at a city council meeting Thursday. The funding will be spread over five years.
The grant provides about $1 million each year to two Austin non-profits, AIDS Services of Austin and Project Transitions. The money is intended to help people living with AIDS and HIV with housing needs—short-term rent, mortgage assistance, help with utilities, and other related expenses. Josh Allen, of Project Transitions, says that housing, in general, is an area of great need.
“If you look at our waiting list for housing, at any given time, more than twice our capacity to serve,” Allen said. “So as quickly as we can move someone into housing, there are two other folks on the waiting list.”
The money comes at a time when Project Transitions is struggling to fill a $45,000 gap created by reduced funding from the United Way.
“We’re seeing it across the board generally with fundraising efforts,” Allen said, “specifically with grants and foundations. It’s just a much for competitive environment.”
The other advocacy group, AIDS Services of Austin, lost $55,000 in United Way funding this year. Spokesman Marcus Sanchez says a recent gift from Whole Foods, and expected revenue from next Sunday’s AIDS Walk, are helping, but the group is still scrambling to find dollars.
“We have to make additional funds to continue our services but then also cover that loss we experienced,” Sanchez said.
An estimated 5,000 people in the Austin area are living with HIV/AIDS.