Winter is always a difficult season - with the Holidays, and cold and wet weather, and the long nights, it can sometimes be difficult for our clients to maintain a comfortable household and positive attitudes. Since all of our clients are low income, many times they don't have enough money to pay their bills and also buy good food.
Each year, around the holidays, we have many organizations who have food drives for Esther's Pantry and Tod's Corner. Examples are: Imperial Soverign Rose Court, Pride Professional Alliance, Oregon Bears, Portland Leather Alliance, Kivel and Howard, Albina Rotary and others. We also have drop boxes throughout the Portland Metropolitan Area.
Last December we collected almost 7000 pounds of food, and this year we expect to match that.
As HIV continues to change and the population ages, we see more people with HIV needing additional care. We also notice that many residential care facilities do not know how to care for someone with HIV. There is still a lot of stigma surrounding HIV and how to compassionately care for those with this diagnosis.
Recently we chatted with leaders of the new Coordinated Care Organizations in Oregon to discuss the best way to care for people with HIV. We feel that we need proper training and education for all caregivers that care for anyone with an HIV diagnosis. This will minimize the stigma and provide more compassionate care for those that need additional consideration.
We will continue to provide information, eduation and training to those caregivers that need additional help with some of our clients. We will also push for additional funding for this project.
We have held several strategic meetings with various groups over the past few months:
During our Board/Staff Retreat we discussed our future strategies and how we could get sustainable funding for them. Some of the goals that were discussed were:
- Connect with CCO's in Oregon to become a provider for that organization to care for their clients with HIV/AIDS
- Look into expansion of our Neighborhood Housing and Care Program to include aspects of:
- Obtain sustainable funding for each of the items above.
We have met with the staff of Health Share Oregon - the largest CCO in Oregon to discuss our involvement.
We are scheduling meetings with FamilyCare and others to discuss similar items.