(SAN DIEGO) The San Diego HIV Funding Collaborative and AIDS Walk San Diego yesterday issued grants exceeding $485,000 to 20 local HIV/AIDS service organizations in a ceremony that took place at The San Diego LGBT Community Center.
Through a unique partnership with the San Diego HIV Funding Collaborative, AIDS Walk San Diego is able to increase the impact of the dollars it raises. Funds raised from AIDS Walk are combined with other supporting donations to qualify for matching funds. Those partner organizations include: the Sunshine Brooks Permanent Fund of the San Diego Human Dignity Foundation, Alliance Healthcare Foundation, Elton John AIDS Foundation, Kaiser Permanente, Johnson & Johnson, McCarthy Family Foundation, National AIDS Fund, the Parker Foundation and Bill Hardt Presents.
“In a year that has seen ongoing economic challenges for so many and devastating state budget funding cuts for HIV/AIDS services, it is especially meaningful to be able to present these checks to organizations who truly do the work of providing direct care and service to those living with HIV/AIDS,“ said Tony Freeman, executive director of the San Diego Human Dignity Foundation where the San Diego HIV Funding Collaborative is housed. “Our local organizations – so many with rich and deep histories in our community – continue their work to serve all those impacted by HIV/AIDS, and to provide education and prevention tools to our larger community. We are committed to ensuring that they have the funds they need to continue to offer these vital programs and services.”
Among the grantees are Being Alive San Diego, Bienestar, Christie's Place, Comite Civico del Valle, Deaf Community Services of San Diego, Eunime Por-Tijuana, A.C., Family Health Centers of San Diego, Fraternity House, Jewish Family Services of San Diego, Mama’s Kitchen, North County Health Services, Operation Samahan, San Diego Foundation for Change - Strength for the Journey program, San Diego LGBT Community Center, San Diego Volunteer Lawyer Program, San Diego Youth Services, San Ysidro Health Center, Special Delivery San Diego, UCSD Owen Clinic and the Vista Community Clinic.
“It is so inspiring to award these gifts each year to some of our region’s most important and essential HIV/AIDS service organizations,” said Dr. Delores A. Jacobs, chief executive officer of The San Diego LGBT Community Center. AIDS Walk San Diego is a program of The Center. “We are truly grateful for all those who help make these grants possible – our dedicated AIDS Walk walkers, volunteers, supporters and sponsors and the San Diego HIV Funding Collaborative. In a year as difficult as this the grants these supporters made possible are critical for these agencies and those living with HIV/AIDS.”
Long time community activist Benny Cartwright was among those selected to be part of the grant allocation committee.
“With the drastic funding cuts to HIV/AIDS based programs that came out of Sacramento this year, the selection process was extremely difficult. There were more organizations asking for more money and due to the current economic climate, we had less money to give”, said Cartwright, noting how vitally important this year’s grants were to the recipients.
“Throughout the process we did a number of site visits to the various applying organizations, many of whom spoke with us about how if they weren’t able to secure funding that this or that program would be absolutely cut. Grant funds were the difference between program survival or program termination, so the grants allotted this year will help tremendously.”