The Partnership for the Homeless

Positive Step

It's hard enough to be living with HIV/AIDS but it can be devastating to also be dealing with unstable housing or to be homeless.

Not surprisingly health often deteriorates, and as the medical crisis deepens it becomes even harder to address a person's housing problems and related challenges.

Fortunately, swiftly dealing with the housing crisis has an immediate impact that allows people to get back on their feet. From there creating more permanent stability is possible.

That's exactly what our Positive Step program does: help New Yorkers living with HIV/AIDS find decent housing fast, then work with them through a comprehensive range of services to build a healthier, more secure future. And as a result 90% of people who go through the program meet with their primary care provider and 85% report living a healthier lifestyle and engaging in less risky behavior.


Housing, Fast, Then Support

Positive Step works with HIV-positive adults who are homeless to find appropriate housing and help them navigate the process of getting into an apartment, all within 90 days. Though crucial, that's only the beginning of our work. Working one-on-one as well as in groups, we link people to quality health care, provide them with support groups and counseling, connect them to other resources and services, and assist them in creating a plan that keeps them healthy, stably housed and moving forward toward a prosperous life.

People who are homeless are nearly 9 times more likely to be HIV positive than the general population.

There is an insidious relationship between homelessness and HIV: being homeless puts you at greater risk for getting HIV. And having HIV puts you at greater risk of becoming homeless. Breaking the chain between homelessness and HIV is critical — not only for the well being of individuals but for public health as well.

There's another dimension to helping people stay healthy and housed: community integration. What many of us take for granted — a feeling of belonging, participating in our communities, having a social network we can rely on — is harder to achieve when you are homeless and living with HIV/AIDS. In the year ahead we're creating an innovative Positive Step community integration project that is helping clients build bridges within their new neighborhoods so they can lead healthier lives.