AIDS Services Access Program: benefits advocacy & referrals

This program provides service coordination and benefits advocacy for People Living with HIV/AIDS. While the Safety Net program is meant to meet emergency needs not covered by other sources, the AIDS Services Access program is meant to solve the root of the issue and identify a plan to help meet the person’s ongoing needs. An assessment regarding a variety of needs directs creation of a service plan, which acknowledges various potential issues that may interfere with continued access to care. Examples of actions taken as directed by service plans include facilitated enrollment into benefits through Suffolk County Department of Social Services for Public Assistance, SNAP (food stamps), and/or Medicaid. There are a variety of benefits/programs specifically related to HIV diagnosis, such as “enhanced rental assistance” grants, transportation services, legal services, health care coverage, and mental wellness services. This program provides information and referrals to these various programs and services.

Safety Net: emergency financial assistance

Some of the common “barriers to care” we see on Long Island are housing insecurity or homelessness, food insecurity, lack of transportation, substance abuse, mental health conditions, and difficulties associated with low or fixed-income households. Sometimes the services that are available are limited, or situations are unique and cannot be meet through traditional “public assistance” resources or other sources. This program addresses the “gaps” in the system, such as when applications for benefits are pending and a person has no source of income for basic needs. Safety Net mainly provides food cards, clothing vouchers, transportation vouchers, and packages personal care items. Sometimes this program can provide for additional unique needs, such as requests for mattresses or air conditioners. Safety Net is meant to meet emergency financial needs not covered by other sources, in order that People Living with HIV/AIDS can live well and stay healthy. All applications have a review process to ensure proper use of funds.

Long-Term Survivors/Support Groups

An identified area of an “un met” need has been social support for Long Term Survivors. For this reason, we were able to obtain grant funding specific to address this need. Many people diagnosed in an era in which there was no treatment available experienced trauma related to their diagnosis as well as loss of loved ones. Some people lost many friends and partners and experienced deep loneliness over the years. Our Long Term Survivors group is meant to help foster connections among people diagnosed over 10 years ago, and provide fun group activities so people can relax and enjoy each other’s company. This functions as a “mutual aid” sort of therapeutic approach and addresses a condition referred to as AIDS Survivor Syndrome. In addition, we are offering general support groups for HIV+ individuals (including those who are newly diagnosed). These groups are facilitated by a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. We also hold quarterly client group for feedback regarding the need for and provision of services.

HIV / AIDS Housing

"Beech House" is named after a beautiful beech tree that sits on the property of a house donated to Thursday's Child by a gentleman who passed of AIDS-related complications in 1992. This large property provides independent affordable housing provides 3 apartments for individuals Living with HIV/AIDS and their family. The property and housing program is maintained by Thursday's Child. Residents are long-term, but we will announce if there is an opening. Thursday's Child provides advocacy service for People Living with HIV/AIDS to obtain permanent housing through additional programs and resources, such as referrals to Housing Opportunities for People with AIDS or to help facilitate enrollment into "enhance rental assistance" benefits in order to help low/fixed income individuals Living with HIV obtain permanent independent housing.

Holiday Magic program

Children under the age of 15 in a household affected by HIV/AIDS may write a letter to “Santa”or ”Papa Noel” (or as addressed under any belief or culture) to request a wish list of items. These are not randomly donated toys—these are a child’s actual holiday wishes being fulfilled. This is program is coordinated in a way that ensure the confidentially of the family and child. This program serves an average of 350 children per holiday season.

Community Outreach: risk/reduction and prevention education

Educate the public on HIV/AIDS awareness, advocacy, and prevention. Speakers are available. We will keep you informed when new programs are created to serve the HIV/AIDS community. We offer a Safe place to come and talk about HIV/AIDS, where your confidentiality is honored and respected.

Early Intervention Service: for newly diagnosed or out-of-care persons

The Early Intervention Service (EIS) program can help newly diagnosed individuals manage the initial stages of gaining and maintaining access to medical care and supportive services. For more than a decade, the overall and all-too-high rate of new infections has stagnated; in some communities, it has increased. EIS engages with “at risk” communities to reduce the rate of transmission. Universal testing is an important prevention measure. If initiated as early as possible, linkage to care maximizes health outcomes for someone HIV + and it helps prevent new infections.

Testing as Prevention Program

No insurance necessary and walk-ins are welcome to the Patchogue location. To schedule an appointment in the office or for other locations in the community by request, please call 631-447-4044 or call/text 631-417-5099 (se habla espanol). HIV testing should be a routine part of care for everyone, and it is a key part of prevention. It will prevent negative health outcomes as well as prevent transmissions. Knowing your status is everything and we all have a status: the only way to know is to get tested! Linkage to care as well as risk reduction resources are available. Condoms, PrEP/PEP information, & general HIV health information. We are here to address any concerns you may have, so call or text and let’s talk about it!

Please call us at 631-447-5044 if you have any questions about programs or services, or would like to apply.

If you are a service provider and would like to request an HIV/AIDS presentation for your clients and/or staff, please call.

All services are free & confidential.