In partnership with Jubilee Housing, Joseph’s House operates a pilot permanent supportive housing program for people living with HIV. The project includes nine apartment units linked with an extensive array of support services, including medical case management, employment, education and sobriety support, a food pantry, and community activities. The apartments are located in a large apartment building just four blocks from Joseph’s House, encouraging frequent interactions and simplifying the provision of services. The support offered to residents in the initiative is rooted in Joseph’s House’s longstanding model of care, which places community and relationships at the center.
The desire to launch this initiative grew out of experiences over the past several years, as we served an increasing number of former residents living with HIV who leave Joseph’s House with improved health, but still require varying degrees of intensive support in order to stay physically and emotionally well. Often, those who leave Joseph’s House move to subsidized housing located far from Joseph’s House and from other needed medical and social services, and in proximity to sites where there is intensive drug use.
With improved treatment options, more of these individuals maintain periods of relatively good physical health, at least in terms of HIV. Often their greatest challenges are related to mental health, sobriety, isolation, and the other physical effects of aging – all of which then impact their ability to remain engaged in care and adherent to HIV medications. In our experience, these individuals also lack job skills and given the severity of their mental health and basic life skills needs, some are unlikely to succeed in job training programs or employment situations. In years past, too many of these individuals often returned to Joseph’s House with end-stage HIV disease.
By launching this pilot project to co-locate housing and support services in a nearby facility, it is our hope to help the residents build strong and stable futures and develop a model of care that others can replicate elsewhere in the city.