Lifelong AIDS Alliance Programs
Referrals to emergency, transitional, and permanent housing.
Access to available health care resources as well as mental health services and substance abuse and chemical dependency support programs.
Coverage of medical insurance premiums so individuals can receive life-sustaining care and medications.
Nutritious meals that meet American Heart Association and the American Diabetes Association standards as well as groceries to individuals with HIV, seniors, and people whose health is compromised.
Vouchers to allow persons living with HIV or AIDS to purchase clothes and household items at Lifelong’s on-site thrift shop, which is also open to the community.
Lifelong’s history of community service and partnerships are shining examples of what can be achieved when people collaborate for the greater good. Throughout our 30 year history, we have been leaders in educating the community about HIV and AIDS. Our prevention education programs target at-risk individuals including vulnerable youth populations; advocacy efforts are undertaken on behalf of our clients as well as the larger community through our direct involvement in public policy initiatives locally and nationally. Our long-standing signature community-building events promote understanding and compassion for individuals affected by HIV/AIDS. The breadth and depth of our services are only possible because we have the support of a dedicated and caring network of more than 1,300 volunteers.
Recent Successes and Current Challenges
Lifelong Housing Safety Net
A settlement between our state’s Consumer Protection Division and the nation’s five largest private mortgage servicers resulted in $40 million in funds being returned to Washington State; it was decided that funds would be used to help individuals and families who have suffered foreclosures.
Lifelong was one of thirteen organizations to receive an award from this settlement (out of 54 applicants). Lifelong’s Housing Safety Net Program received a $2 million grant; the program conducted in partnership with Solid Ground, provide housings subsidies to individuals/families who suffered foreclosures in the previous 24 months who also live with a chronic illness or condition.
Partnership with Queer Teen Ensemble Theatre (QTET)
Since 2007, QTET has provided a safe, creative outlet for queer and allied youth to explore their voice and identity through a collaborative, therapeutic theater process. QTET has now become a cornerstone of our youth prevention and education programming and has enabled Lifelong to reach more than 20 public and private high schools and impact close to 600 students in the greater Seattle area and parts of King County. The partnership complements Lifelong’s outreach and prevention education services through QTET’s performances and school workshops targeting LGBTQ youth and their communities. QTET creates a safe space for teens to give voice to their concerns, hopes and dreams and serves as an antidote to the bullying, intolerance and isolation that affect queer youth throughout King County.
National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day
In collaboration with local human service organizations, Lifelong organized a day of HIV testing and prevention education for low-income women living in nearby homeless shelters. Staff administered 75 tests for HIV and Hepatitis C, provided individual counseling and conducted participatory training with over 100 women. This event was created in partnership with the Office of Women’s Health, Gay City, Babes Network, the YWCA and People of Color Against AIDS Network.
Citizens in our community who face multiple life challenges depend on Lifelong to meet a broad spectrum of needs as they cope with an unstable housing market, food deserts, longer life expectancies and changing vulnerability to communicable diseases.
Due to improved treatment, HIV infection has now become a chronic condition. As HIV mortality has dropped, increasing numbers of people are living with this disease. There are approximately 7,000 people living with HIV or AIDS in King County today, most of whom will live longer and need help managing HIV/AIDS as a chronic condition. In addition to HIV/AIDS, illnesses such as diabetes, heart disease, cancer, stroke, respiratory illness and arthritis are the largest contributors to ill health in King County, resulting in more than 4,300 deaths every year.
Over half of Lifelong’s food program clients are not HIV positive but are food insecure, disabled or elderly living with other chronic illnesses. All are low-income and many come from marginalized populations. Our clients who have lived with HIV/AIDS for many years are medically fragile and most have housing, mental health and substance abuse issues; 37% are over the age of 50.