A HELPING HAND: MM’s Story

Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA) is a federally funded HUD program that offers a variety of housing solutions and support services for low-income persons living with HIV/AIDS. Alongside HOPWA, the Emergency Solution Grants (ESG) Program provides services from street outreach to rapid re-housing to those experiencing homelessness or at risk of becoming homeless. Continuing to leverage HOPWA with other local services to address housing insecurity and the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Georgia, the Department of Community Affairs (DCA) is proud to share success stories of individuals who were given a helping hand.

The identity of each person profiled will be restricted out of respect for their privacy.

MM is a disabled veteran with limited access to transportation and healthcare resources. With his health declining over the years while having a detectable HIV viral load, MM had suffered from anxiety and depression. The hopelessness and lack of care felt had caused MM to lose interest in seeking the necessary medical attention needed. After being recently discharged from two nursing homes due to the unsatisfied care being received, MM has been without a permanent stable place to call home for years.

It wasn’t until Jan. 14, 2021, when MM was referred to the Laurens County Board of Health from a local hospital as a readmit and placed on the HOPWA supportive services program. During the initial HOPWA intake, MM stated being homeless, experiencing possible COVID-19 symptoms, and in desperate need of shelter. Later, MM was readmitted to the Ryan White Program on January 26, 2021, after several years of being out of care.

Through the DCA HOPWA-CV Hotel/Motel grant program funds, MM received supportive services, healthy nutritious foods, transportation, and housing search options. The HOPWA Hotel/Motel funding assisted MM with three weeks of lodging, and he was linked with a Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) Intake/Data Entry Coordinator for continued aid with lodging.

The RW Cares Funds program also allowed MM to receive PPE, cleaning products, ensures, and gift cards. Ongoing case management services including contacting VA social workers and scheduling medical appointments with primary care physicians. HOPWA, Ryan White CARES Act program funding, and case management assistance have played an integral part in pairing MM with other eligible services through the VA administration.

On February 19, 2021, MM was happy to report being approved for a housing voucher through the HUD-VASH Program and anticipates moving to a new home within the oncoming weeks.

To date, MM expresses gratitude for the assistance received and is compliant with medical care. MM continues to receive supportive services through the HOPWA program to ensure medical compliance and to remain stably housed.

For more information regarding the Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA), click here. To learn more about the Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG) Program, click here.