Shanti Program Government Funding Cut, Forced to Close

Shanti Program Government Funding Cut, Forced to Close

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Photo: Trygve.U
Photo: Trygve.U

Shanti is a Sanskrit word meaning “inner peace.” Such peace can be cultivated through the authentic relationship that arises when compassion, intentionality, courage, and non-judgment connect two people as equals.

Rosehedge/Multifaith Works, an organization that for 25 years has provided housing and support programs for people living with HIV/AIDS, multiple sclerosis, and other life-challenging illnesses, is sad to announce the elimination of the Shanti emotional support program, effective March 31, 2013. The Board of Directors made the difficult decision after learning of the loss of significant government funding.

Since 1983, Shanti has provided emotional support to thousands of people, matching well-trained volunteers with those who are isolated, vulnerable, and in need of confidential, one-on-one, non-judgmental support. Most Shanti volunteers, after completing 30 hours of training, are matched one-to-one with clients in the community for short- or long-term weekly support. Shanti volunteers who are especially skilled at sitting with individuals at end-of-life, make weekly visits to residents at Bailey-Boushay House, a skilled-nursing facility. Shanti also runs a prison program, with volunteers providing support to inmates at the King County Correctional Facility, the Monroe State Penitentiary and the Women’s Correctional Facility at Purdy. The Shanti program staff is actively seeking a new fiscal agent and will be working with volunteers and community leaders to explore all options for the program’s future and fiscal sustainability.

“This decision was incredibly painful for the organization – Shanti is one of Seattle’s original HIV/AIDS programs,” said Lauren Simonds, Executive Director of Rosehedge/Multifaith Works. “Funding for HIV/AIDS programs is changing and will continue to do so as the medical treatment of patients evolves. Rosehedge/Multifaith Works will, of course, evolve as well. Our staff and board remain firmly committed to the work we do in the community and the individuals we are here to help.”

Rosehedge/Multifaith Works serves men and women living with HIV/AIDS who also struggle with chemical dependency and mental health issues by providing housing, compassionate health care and support services that enhance the quality of their lives. Its programs include Enhanced Assisted Living Adult Family Homes with 24-hour care, Transitional Housing, practical and emotional support services through CareTeams, and SHIFT – a substance abuse peer-recovery coach network.

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