Queens Chronicle (01.02.2014)
The Queens Chronicle reported that the Long Island City, N.Y.-based Fortune Society would use new grants from the Mac AIDS Fund and the Elton John AIDS Foundation to expand Fortune’s supportive housing and case management services to formerly incarcerated, HIV-infected men and women. Fortune would use part of the $50,000 Mac AIDS Fund grant on outreach programs that targeted HIV-infected individuals who were not eligible for HIV/AIDS Service Administration assistance; other Mac AIDS grant dollars would fund evaluation of Fortune’s program model, according to JoAnne Page, Fortune’s president and chief executive officer.
Page stated that Fortune would use the Elton John AIDS Foundation grant to expand a transitional services program that included discharge planning and “wraparound services” for HIV-infected individuals moving from Riker’s Island Correctional Facility into the community. The Elton John AIDS Foundation grant also would support a peer worker who would lead HIV prevention education groups and nutrition education workshops for HIV-infected clients. Fortune would use a portion of the funding as stipends for clients who participated in the organization’s intensive, long-term, follow-up care program.
Page noted the importance of having a support, housing, and health plan in place when HIV-infected individuals left incarceration to ensure uninterrupted HIV care. Fortune—one of the first organizations to address HIV among incarcerated individuals—developed its HIV Health Services program in 1990 in response to high HIV prevalence among inmates. Other Fortune services for formerly incarcerated individuals included social workshops; theater classes; and housing, employment, and education support.