313442_10150287835141312_5915294_nBy Clare S. Richie

Thanks to $4 million in increased federal funding, Jerusalem House will provide permanent, supportive housing to more than 270 additional people affected by HIV/AIDs over the next two years. The grant comes from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) through the City of Atlanta Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS program (HOPWA).

Founded in 1988, Jerusalem House is Atlanta’s oldest and largest provider of permanent supportive housing for homeless and low-income men, women and children struggling with HIV/AIDS in Metropolitan Atlanta. In addition to covering rent and utilities, the nonprofit provides other support services to put residents, which include individuals and families, on a path to self-sufficiency.

Responding to a spike in Atlanta HIV/AIDs diagnoses, the increased grant empowers Jerusalem House to increase from 140 to 372 housing units in City of Atlanta, DeKalb County, Fulton County and for the first time – Clayton County.

With this funding, Jerusalem House will provide more than 80 percent of the permanent supportive housing designated for this underserved population in Metropolitan Atlanta.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) ranks Atlanta 5th highest rate of new HIV diagnoses among US cities, half of whom have full-blown AIDS . “This shows that people are not being tested on a routine bases and are getting sick before they come into care.” says Executive Director Charlie Frew.

Adding, “People living with HIV/AIDs who aren’t in stable housing, in many cases, are not going to have access to health care support and are not going to be compliant with medication. We are excited to be able to welcome so many new residents.”

With this expansion, Jerusalem House invites everyone to get involved, volunteer or make a donation at jerusalemhouse.org.

Collin Kelley

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.