Chicago House, a local non-profit HIV/AIDS services provider, is one of eight organizations chosen to receive a grant from Health Resources and Services Administration that would help fund research into the link between HIV and retention in care of transgender women of color.
The grant will provide $300,000 per year for the next five years for the study, conducted within Chicago House’s new TransLife Center, a collaborative initiative and multi-strategy approach to finding transgender women of color and who lack services and care and then providing them with HIV care. The HRSA views the programming as a Special Program of National Significance, according to Chicago House.
HRSA, an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, improves access to healthcare for the uninsured, isolated and medically vulnerable.
“The transgender community has been so strategic and receptive in helping us develop the programs, and we are excited to begin this next step of Chicago House’s history,” said Stan Sloan, CEO of Chicago House. “The TransLife Center Programming will incorporate three tiers of support to the habitually overlooked ‘T’ in the LGBT community.”
The TransHousing program will provide homes for transgender men and women at the organization’s 24-hour care site in Edgewater and multiple satellite sites in the city. The TransWorks program will extend Chicago House’s current employment program to transgender men and women by helping them identify skills and workplace needs in addition to connecting them with culturally-competent job opportunities. The third part, TransHealth, will connect transgender clients to “nonjudgmental” healthcare through Dr. Rob Garofalo of Lurie Children’s Hospital, according to Sloan.
“Chicago House remains committed to providing the best in services to the homeless and HIV affected, and the integral TransHealth funding from HRSA further validates the needs that we have identified within the transgender community,” Sloan said. “The growth in reaching out to this population represents the same trailblazing growth our founders had in mind 27 years ago, and it is a wonderful next incarnation for our former hospice site.”