HIV/AIDS Housing at The Bridge

Posted on 7/22/2011 by The Bridge

HIV/AIDS housing at The Bridge is a 20-bed facility on Amsterdam Avenue in Manhattan. This residence is an important part of our mission to help special needs populations. Residents in this housing must be diagnosed with HIV/AIDS, have been or are currently homeless and have co-occurring mental illness. Most residents also have drug/alcohol addiction issues.

The program opened 10 years ago with funding from the Federal
Ryan White program, which is contracted through New York City’s Public Health Solutions, a not-for-profit conduit for Federal Health money. The building is a five-story walk-up with 2 studios and 9 two-bedroom apartments. Each resident has his/her own private bedroom and bathroom, and share a kitchen and living/dining space. The Bridge provides furniture and equipment.

This is an emergency/transitional program where residents stay for approximately 9 to 12 months while they stabilize medically and psychologically and financially. After being homeless, it is imperative that these individuals have this opportunity to stabilize. The goal of this program is to help residents acquire the skills and strength to move to permanent housing where they can live more independently.

The Bridge works with each incoming resident to get the medicine and health care they need, connect them to financial programs (such as social security, food stamps, Medicaid, etc), and teach them skills needed for living independently. Residents are required to keep their apartments clean and have food in their kitchen. 

A continental breakfast is served each morning in the common kitchen area, and each evening, residents work to prepare and eat dinner together. Many of the residents do not have cooking skills or nutritional knowledge when they enter the program and staff works with them and teaches them how to cook healthy meals for themselves and/or the group.

There are also group meetings/classes run in the residence two evenings per week. One class discusses medical issues, housing, and substance abuse. The second class focuses on LGBTQ relationship issues, medical and medication issues. 

Residents go on group trips to help them integrate back into society, and they visit museums, go to the movies, attend free concerts and other activities that are of interest to the residents. During the day, residents can also attend the drug/alcohol program at The Bridge headquarters, which is licensed and funded by New York State’s OASAS (Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services), as well as other Bridge programs. The Bridge strives to bring integrated care to each client.

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