Over 30 years ago the first cases of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) garnered the world’s attention. Since then, over 600,000 Americans have lost their lives to AIDS and more than 56,000 people in the United States become infected with HIV each year. Currently, there are more than 1.1 million Americans living with HIV. Moreover, almost half of all Americans know someone living with HIV. In King County alone there are an estimated 7,500 men and women living with HIV/AIDS.
Each person can make a difference, yet when we band together we can make the strongest impact. That is why five of Seattle’s preeminent non-profit AIDS services providers have joined together in a powerful collaboration: the 9th Annual World AIDS Day Breakfast. The largest benefit of its kind in the Northwest, the breakfast is a fundraiser for Rosehedge/Multifaith Works, Gay City Health Project, Seattle Counseling Service, Seattle Area Support Groups, and Lifelong AIDS Alliance, who work together to provide crucial HIV prevention, education, support and care in the Seattle area.
Gay City Health Project
Gay City Health Project is a multicultural gay men’s health organization and the leading provider of HIV and STI testing in King County. Our mission is to promote wellness in LGBT communities by providing health services, connecting people to resources, fostering arts, and building community.
Since 1995, Gay City has been providing innovative community-driven programming that is frank, bold and reflective of contemporary gay culture. From HIV testing to smoking cessation classes to arts programming and recovery work, our health initiatives engage gay men on multiple levels. This approach is designed to result in sustainable and long term change, and allows gay men to bring their whole selves to the table. Gay City provides a place for gay men to engage, learn skills, strategize and become leaders.
With a recent expansion to a new, larger space, Gay City has increased its commitment to supporting programs that respond to the needs of all LGBT individuals, and to promote the comprehensive wellness – physical, mental, social, political, and spiritual – of Seattle’s LGBT communities. In addition to an expanded Wellness Center, Gay City’s new facility includes the 6,000 volume Michael C. Weidemann LGBT Library, Seattle’s LGBT Resource & Referral Center, and a 750 sq ft auditorium featuring a broad range of arts programming. The new Gay City serves as a resource hub and social destination where Seattle’s LGBT community will come together to connect with each other in meaningful ways, to reflect on our changing identities and roles in society, and to foster and develop leadership for the years to come.
Lifelong AIDS Alliance
Lifelong AIDS Alliance is a non-profit organization that empowers people living with or at risk of HIV/AIDS and other chronic conditions to lead healthier lives. Lifelong helps people access health insurance , provides healthy meals, ensures that people have a safe place to live, and prevents new HIV infections through educational outreach and advocacy. Lifelong has been at the forefront of the fight against HIV/AIDS for three decades.
Rosehedge/Multifaith Works serves vulnerable men and women living with HIV/AIDS by providing housing, compassionate health care and supportive services that enhance the quality of their lives. In addition, we unite communities of compassionate care with people living in isolation and loneliness through the following programs:
SHANTI volunteers offer weekly, one-to-one emotional support to people with life challenging illness, to those recovering from addiction, and to those who are incarcerated.
CARETEAMS build a network of friendship and support for people facing chronic or life challenging illness, addiction, and isolation. Through listening, offering a compassionate presence, and assisting in the activities of daily life, our volunteers and CarePartners discover meaningful and transformative personal connections.
The HOUSING PROGRAM provides low cost, independent, community housing in eight Seattle locations, offering support and transformational recovery services for people living with a chronic illness. Our three Enhanced Assisted Living houses offer private bedrooms, shared bathrooms, hot, nutritious meals, and round-the-clock care by our Resident Care Assistants. Registered Nurses are onsite weekdays, and on-call 24 hours a day. Each of the five Enhanced Transitional homes offer dignity and quality of life for people living with HIV/AIDS–a home where residents are cared for, valued, supported, respected, and safe. In each home, residents have their own furnished private room in addition to general use of the common areas, bathrooms, kitchen, dining room, and yard. All our houses are alcohol and drug free.
SHIFT provides support to people in the Seattle/King County area who are Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual/Transgender/Queer/Questioning (LGBTQ) struggling with drug/alcohol abuse, addiction and recovery issues.
Seattle Area Support Groups
Seattle Area Support Groups (SASG) has proudly been serving the community since 1984. SASG envisions individuals in communities connected by shared values of health and well being, personal development, and compassionate support of one another.
SASG, a non-profit organization, builds community and cultivates powerful, healthy lives by providing emotional support and personal development services to those affected by HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis C, addiction recovery, and social activities for the community.
Our work is done in a spirit of safety, trust, inclusiveness, and celebration of individual differences. SASG offers numerous support groups, discussion opportunities, and social events.
Seattle Counseling Service
Seattle Counseling Service is a unique resource for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) communities. We have experienced counselors to help you navigate the path to recovery and wellness. When you, your partner/family member, or other loved one are facing a life crisis or significant transition, suffering from depression or anxiety, want to build better relationships, are dealing with the affects of abuse or trauma or struggling with addiction, we can help.
We are committed to providing the highest quality care in an atmosphere free from judgment, fear and discrimination. And because we believe that a person’s ability to pay should not determine his or her access to services, we have a sliding fee scale, accept Medicaid and many insurance plans and have procured grants and donations to increase access to services.
The above statements were referenced for this publication here.
This breakfast is an opportunity for you to make the strongest impact you can by supporting this entire network of AIDS service providers in Seattle. In 2011 the event brought in over $80,000 for the combined agencies, which provided those living with HIV/AIDS have care, support and most importantly – hope.
Actress Amanda Bearse will emcee the event again this year, and attendance is expected to exceed 600, so register now for a table. Your support will help change lives, so join the community in honoring those lost, helping those who are living with HIV/AIDS and celebrating the power of community. With your help we can send a message to remind Seattle that there is still a community of compassion fighting this disease and that none of us are alone.
If you are interested in joining the Social Outreach Seattle table, please click here and select the table for Sarah Toce (Social Outreach Seattle). Registration is free.