How long does this take? It takes about an hour to complete the New Member Orientation and all of the required paperwork. Members are seen on a first come, first served basis. Your name will be called in the order that you signed up on the list. Please note that existing members are being called while new members are completing orientation. Do not worry. You are not being skipped.
How long until I get my housing? Bottom line: the system doesn’t respond to crisis very well. Effective planning and consistent work wins. When you are finished with the New Member Orientation, you will be seen by a Housing Advocate that will create an Individual Housing Plan for you that will give us a better sense of your personal situation, needs and what the action plan contains.
Can I go to another appointment and return? Our experience is that when people leave, they are less likely to return, so we prefer for you to stay since you are already here. However, if you have another appointment that you can’t miss, by all means let the front desk know you have another appointment and the approximate time you expect to return.
What if I don’t have all the documents? The most important thing is to get the process started, so we will work with what you have today. If another provider can FAX the documents to us, the number is 415-561-9940.
Can you get my documents from REGGIE/ARIES? - Although we serve people with HIV/AIDS, we are a tenant’s rights organization and not a health service provider funded by the Department of Public Health. As such, we do not have access to REGGIE or ARIES.
Why do I have to fill out so many forms? In 6 short years, we have grown from a folding table and two used phones to a full service agency providing 16 distinct services that work together to help prevent homelessness and to help people secure new housing. Our financial services program alone has access to 6 different funding sources. Each source of funds has it’s own rules, own forms, etc. We decided that what seems like a lot of work is actually an improvement in overall efficiency and access to robust services.
Is this the only day you have Drop In? Due to budget constraints, Monday is currently our only Drop In Clinic. We do not have the capacity to see anyone outside of the drop in clinic. One of the reasons we have been able to create an organization run by disabled people with HIV/AIDS working 17 hours per week that provides 16 distinct services to thousands of people and only spend $88,000 per year on salaries is because we have crafted a very specific and efficient service model. Half of our time is spent in the drop in clinic and the rest is spent with necessary follow up work and administrative work. We have worked during chemo and radiation, returned to work the afternoon after having cancer removed from our face, and the list goes on. We have unlimited faith in our communities’ ability to persevere and overcome most any obstacle. We do not curse our community with lowered expectations that reinforce a victim mentality. We are not white knights coming to save AIDS victims. We disabled people with AIDS extending a hand to others in our community who are where we have been and hoping that they reach back.
Can I make an appointment? As clients too, we can relate to the waiting, waiting, waiting. Being poor is a full-time job. Instead of adopting an appointment-based model that can take weeks to get to see someone, we opted for a drop-in clinic model where people in need can see someone quickly, even in the same day. Someone coming to our clinic is guaranteed to be seen that day. We don’t’ go home at 5 o’clock. We go home when the work is done. Also, let’s keep it real. How many of us have had appointments and were having an ‘AIDS Day’ and didn’t show up or call? Not really the most efficient use of very limited staff time and not fair to the others.
Do you have someone who speaks Spanish? Yes. Please let us know if you need to see a Spanish speaking Housing Advocate. Depending on his work-load, this may lead to longer wait times.
Do I have to have HIV or be disabled? No. Because we see housing as one of the most effective HIV prevention tools available, we chose to chart a new course on who gets access to HIV housing resources. Our services are available to all people with HIV, regardless of disability status. We have always provided services to the HIV negative partners and household members of our HIV+ members. We also recognize the role that housing stability plays in preventing HIV for people in groups at highest risk for acquiring HIV. We are in the process of expanding our services to HIV- gay men and transgender people in need of housing stability, as part of the mission of our sponsoring organization, ‘Q Foundation”, whose goal is to provide homelessness prevention and other safety net services for the LGBT & HIV communities.
Do I make too much/too little money to qualify? Nope. Everybody needs housing – that’s why it is a Human Right. Our tenant’s rights/housing justice model is inclusive, as opposed to those that pursue a medical model that seeks to exclude people based on income, disability status and the like. We are a people with HIV/AIDS organization. That means all people with HIV.
How can I make a donation? Cash, check, charge or PayPal. Pick your poison. See more information on our donation page.
How else can I support AHA?
• Volunteer – Ask to fill out a Volunteer Application. We have lots of opportunities to help out at Street Fairs, etc.
• Hearings – We send out a Members Only email newsletter with announcements on housing opportunities, service updates, fundraisers, and calls to action to testify at City Hall, attend protests, etc.
• Community Thrift – Donate or shop at Community Thrift, 623 Valencia. Our Beneficiary ID is: #148.