According to the County of San Diego’s Health and Human Services Agency’s 2012 HIV/AIDS Epidemiology Report, California has the second largest number of HIV/AIDS cases in the United States. Also, San Diego County has the third largest number of HIV/AIDS cases in California. Due to the large number of cases, numerous organizations in San Diego County offer several programs and services to proactively support those suffering from and ending new HIV infections.
“San Diego boasts a wonderful array of culturally and gender-sensitive HIV programming,” said Ian Morton, senior programs analyst, San Diego Human Dignity Foundation and HIV Funding Collaborative. “We would not have it any other way! Whether preventing or treating HIV, it is imperative that we have programs that reflect the diversity and needs of individual San Diegans. Through the HIV Funding Collaborative, we are able to support advocacy programs with childcare options; syringe exchange programs which can benefit communities impacted by addiction while keeping dirty needles out of playgrounds; and legal services for individuals dealing with employment or housing discrimination.”
- Being Alive – $20,000 – To support the organization’s general funding program.
- Christie’s Place – $20,000 – To fund integrated HIV services for women, children and families.
- Family Health Center San Diego – $20,000 – To support their Safe Point syringe exchange program.
- Fraternity House – $15,750 – To support their Mental Health, Education, Nutrition and a healthy Direction (MEND) project.
- Mama’s Kitchen – $20,000 – To fund their AIDS nutrition program and pantry service.
- NC LGBTQ Community Center – $20,000 – To fund their HIV/AIDS project.
- San Diego Volunteer Lawyer’s Program – $20,000 – For their HIV/AIDS legal services project.
- San Diego Youth Services – $19,993 – To support the Peer Education Empowerment Program (PEEP).
- San Ysidro Health Centers – $20,000 – To support the CASA and Our Place programs. This organization focuses on Latino and African American HIV services.
- Stepping Stone San Diego – $20,000 – To support its general funding program.
- Vista Community Clinic – $20,000 – To fund their program which provides pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) to high-need North County populations.
The financial backbone of the HFC is the Sunshine Brooks Fund, an unexpected legacy gift from philanthropist Hattie “Sunshine” Brooks to the San Diego HIV community. Brooks was one of the original investors in Price Club (now Costco), which opened its first warehouse store on Morena Boulevard in San Diego. Known for her “sunny” disposition, she became a staple brand for Price Club’s ice cream and bakery treats. Always an avid supporter of San Diego, her giving continued after her passing in 1999, with a $40 million legacy gift that was divided between 15 San Diego based philanthropic organizations, including the AIDS Foundation of San Diego. When the AIDS Foundation closed in 2008, the remaining funds were transferred to SDHDF and have allowed the HFC to provide grants to HIV services providers each year since.
Additionally, the San Diego Human Dignity Foundation also made announcements and provided details at the luncheon about what’s to come in 2016, which is also the organization’s 20th anniversary. In addition to supporting San Diego through grants for agencies and programs, for the third year SDHDF and HFC will support consumers living with HIV through the advocacy initiative, AIDS Watch. This opportunity allows individuals to meet with elected officials and staff in Washington D.C., to give first-hand accounts on how HIV legislation and policy affect their lives. Nominated by the agencies that have watched them grow, the 2016 delegates team will be made up of: Tracie O’Brien (Family Health Centers), Anthony Mendavil (Stepping Stone), Rafael Rubalcaba (North County LGBTQ Center), Raul Robles (San Diego LGBT Center), Priscilla Mahannah (Christie’s Place) and Dennis Vega (San Ysidro Health Centers).
About the San Diego Human Dignity Foundation
The San Diego Human Dignity Foundation (SDHDF), which will celebrate their 20th anniversary in 2016, is the sole community foundation in the San Diego region dedicated to the benefit of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people. SDHDF funds programs and projects that promote equal treatment, tolerance, wellness, well-being, and above all else, human dignity. We work to strengthen LGBT organizations and leadership. The organization nurtures philanthropic giving to support LGBT people and address important issues such as aging, arts and culture, health and wellness, youth and families, and civil rights. For more information, visit www.sdhdf.org. Connect on Facebook and Twitter.
About San Diego HIV Funding Collaborative
The San Diego HIV Funding Collaborative (HFC) has served as a funding and advisory resource for HIV/AIDS services in the San Diego region since 1990, when it was founded by a local group of concerned community members and funders. Since its founding, the HFC has granted nearly $7 million to support HIV/AIDS services in San Diego County and is currently partnering with nine San Diego HIV service providers to reduce new HIV infections by 60 percent in the next three years. For more information, visit www.sdhdf.org. Connect on Facebook.