"More than anything, I could handle this disease and manage my life better if I knew I had a place to call home."
Person living with HIV/AIDS in Nebraska
STOP AIDS NEBRASKA CAMPAIGN
Housing Opportunities for Persons With HIV/AIDS (HOPWA) Program
The Housing Opportunities for Persons With HIV/AIDS (HOPWA) program is a federally administered grant program with a statutory purpose of providing states and localities with resources to develop a range of housing assistance and supportive services for low-income persons living with HIV/AIDS and their families. The HOPWA Program is administered by the Office of HIV/AIDS Housing located within the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) receives funding from HUD and then contracts with the Nebraska AIDS Project (NAP), AIDS service organization, to provide direct client services. NAP serves all 93 counties in Nebraska with offices located in Omaha, Lincoln, Kearney, Norfolk and Scottsbluff. To receive HOPWA funded services, clients must be enrolled through case management, provide proof of HIV status, proof of income, and other federally required documentation. To be eligible for services, household income must be at or below 80% of the area median income. NAP can be contacted at 800-782-2437 or 402-552-9260.
DHHS also contracts with Assistive Technology Partnership (ATP), an office located within the Nebraska Department of Education, to provide housing and supportive service resources to clients statewide. ATP is also responsible for performing housing quality standards (HQS) inspections and coordinating HQS inspections with participating public housing authorities. To assist the HOPWA program in identifying available housing options for clients, ATP created a statewide housing resource database in 2006.
Activities funded include case management services, housing information services, permanent housing placement (first/last month rent, security deposit, application fee), short-term rental and mortgage assistance, tenant-based rental assistance, transportation assistance, personal empowerment client education and mental health and substance abuse treatment.
HOPWA provides a safety net of housing and support services for people living with HIV and AIDS. Stable, affordable housing offers the best opportunity for persons living with HIV/AIDS to access drug therapies, treatments and supportive services that will enhance the quality of life for themselves and their families.
Recent studies have found strong links between stable housing and medical care options and HIV transmission risks. Research conducted at the Columbia University, Mailman School of Public Health over the past 15 years documents that people living with HIV/AIDS who receive stable housing are four times more likely to enter into medical care. Homeless people living with HIV/AIDS who received a combination of stable housing and social case management were nine times more likely to enter into and stay in medical care, including adherence to HIV/AIDS treatments.
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