Get Involved Spotlight: Project Transitions

Dec 1, 2017

From Project Transitions, this month's Get Involved spotlight non-profit:  

Mission: Project Transitions is dedicated to serving people with HIV and AIDS by providing supportive living, housing, recuperative care and hospice in compassionate and caring environments.

  

About Us:

In 1986, Barbara Davis started working to open Project Transitions. She was inspired through her work with the issues of death and dying in persons with AIDS. She established one of the first support groups for people living with AIDS in Austin. She saw the need for a residential hospice facility where those dying from AIDS could spend their final weeks in a compassionate and caring environment. She brought together a group of interested people, incorporated in 1988 and opened our hospice facility in July of 1989. 

In 1991, the board of directors named the residential hospice facility after William Douglas Key, who was heavily involved with the organization. He died in 1991. By the early 90s, we were experiencing long wait lists for the services at Doug’s house, and even today, 28 years later, the occupancy rate continues to run over 90%.

It also became evident that there were other unmet needs within the community…primarily housing! There were many individuals in need of affordable housing in a safe and secure environment. As a result of this need, we began Roosevelt Gardens in 1995, which is a supportive housing program for individuals and families living with HIV/AIDS. The cost of this program was largely supported by the proceeds from our thrift store, Top Drawer, which was opened in 1993 and remains fully operational to this day. Roosevelt Gardens has evolved into a transitional housing program offering a path to independent living for its residents.

In 1998 we opened Highland Terrace, our independent living facility, which offers affordable housing to residents living with HIV/AIDS, and in 2002 we started our Community Housing program offering scattered-site housing around the city.

No one is denied participation in ANY of our programs because of inability to pay. We are very proud of what we have been able to accomplish with the full support of a caring community.

Programs:Hospice & Recuperative Care

Doug’s House is a five-bedroom residential hospice and recuperative care facility for people with HIV and AIDS. Doug's House provides 24-hour care from social workers, caregivers and a Registered Nurse.

Housing

We operate two affordable, transitional housing programs for people living with HIV and AIDS and their families. Experienced social workers provide supportive services, help residents apply for permanent housing and achieve their personal goals of independent lives.

Project Transitions' Community Housing program provides subsidized rent assistance and support services for those living offsite.

Support Services

Hospice, recuperative care and housing are an integral part of what we offer, but there’s so much more. The journey for residents to independent living and recovery is made possible by an exhaustive list of wrap-around social services that Project Transitions makes available to everyone in our programs:

Hospice/Recuperative Care Services include:

·       Full-time social worker on premises

·       Counseling case management

·       End of life planning; wills, DNRs, funeral

·       Full-time nurse at Doug’s House

·       Private room

·       Cable/ Internet/ WiFi

·       Oversight of medical care

·       Daily check-ins

·       Physical assessment

·       Wound care

·       Medicine refills and ordering; adherence counseling

·       Transportation to and from appointments/ companionship and advocacy

·       Breakfast, lunch and dinner and snacks for all residents

·       Full holiday meals and community celebration events

·       Family counseling

·       Connect clients and family members to case management, therapy, food pantry, dental services, STS, and CARTS

·       Develop medical care plan with client and team (doctor and family)

·       Medical education; diagnosis, labs, referral

·       Assistance with disability application

·       Resident memorials

·       Social activities among residents

Housing Services include:

·       Counseling

·       Medical education

·       Disease education

·       Resource education

·       Family counseling

·       Mental health support through check-ins and medical monitoring

·       Group counseling

·       Harm reduction planning

·       Relapse prevention planning

·       Partner with permanent housing options including public housing, section 8, Foundation communities to bridge clients with safe, affordable permanent housing

·       Personal finance counseling

·       Hardship rental assistance

·       Social skills building

·       Independent living skills

·       Social activities such as crafts, games and movies

·       Therapeutic gardening

·       Community engagement

·       Community center that is open to all residents in every program 

·       Continental breakfast 5 days a week: Monday - Friday

·       Computer lab

·       Capital Area Food Bank pantry onsite

Residents are required to develop a plan of exit from day one and we help them stay the course. Monthly meetings are scheduled with housing case managers to monitor progress, develop strategies to achieve independent living and to address areas of need.

Top Drawer Thrift Store

Top Drawer Thrift is a funky and fun thrift store with a huge heart.  This Austin staple has been selling donated items to the community since 1993.  All proceeds from the sale of donated merchandise benefit Project Transitions.  In addition, Top Drawer serves the HIV/AIDS community through the provision of store vouchers distributed through area HIV service agencies in Austin.

Top Drawer has two locations. The original is located at 4902 Burnet Rd. and is open Monday through Saturday 10am-6pm. The second location is located at 7101B Woodrow Ave. and is open Tuesday through Sunday 11am-7pm.

Donations are accepted at the Burnet location during open hours. The 49th Street Flea Market is also hosted at Top Drawer Burnet on the second Saturday of every month.  

Get Involved!

We always welcome new volunteers to our agency and our programs. We do our best to accommodate your interests, skills and schedule. Volunteers can help in many areas including:

e-Bay Store Manager: We need a volunteer to help run the e-Bay store for Top Drawer Thrift. You'll post items for sale, follow-up with buyers, answer questions and help with shipping.

Public Relations: We are looking for experienced volunteers to help us with Public Relations tasks such as press releases, planning publicity strategies, implementing a monthly giving program and organizing promotional events. 

Gardeners and landscapers are needed at our facilities to keep them an inviting place for our tenants. Introduce a monthly service project to your family, scout troop, youth group, circle of friends, etc. There are one-time and ongoing opportunities to fit your schedule.

Handymen and suppliers are needed to aid in our quest to keep our properties in good repair. If you are a handyman or have access to construction and building materials to donate, we'd love to hear from you.

Caregivers at Doug’s House help residents with their daily non-medical needs. Volunteers provide companionship to residents and fulfill direct caregiver tasks such as helping residents bathe or assisting with personal care. Volunteers can also cook for the house, maintain the cleanliness of the house, decorate for holidays or do landscaping at Doug’s House.

Top Drawer volunteers sort and price donations, merchandise the store and window displays, provide customer service, run store departments, help plan and market store events and maintain store cleanliness.

We always welcome groups, whether a group of co-workers or a student organization, to come help out on a special project. We are happy to accommodate your group to help with painting, gardening or other larger tasks. Let us know what you are interested in. Contact Blythe Plunkett at bplunkett@projecttransitions.org for any volunteer questions. Click HERE to complete an online volunteer application.