First California Shelter Exclusively for AIDS Patients Opens
Emmanuel House, California's first residence built exclusively to house people with HIV/AIDS, opened yesterday in Santa Ana, the Los Angeles Times reports. The $4.2 million, 24-bedroom residence was recently completed after two years of construction, tripling in size from its original 6,000 square foot design. Excluding the new shelter, Orange County has fewer than 60 beds designated for people with HIV/AIDS. "This is just a drop in the ocean and it's not going to solve the issues, but we're helping it," Larry Haynes, executive director of Mercy House, the Catholic not-for-profit agency that will run the shelter, said. Based on an idea originally proposed by Santa Ana Mayor Miguel Pulido, the shelter is a combined effort of HomeAid Orange County, a not-for-profit construction company that oversaw the building, Mercy House, the Orange County AIDS Services Foundation Orange County and the Hospitaller Brothers of St. John, which will staff the house. Land for the house was donated and the government gave $600,000 toward the project, but the "bulk" of the money came from donors, fundraisers and corporate gifts. Mercy House and foundation officials are still in the process of developing criteria for Emmanuel House residency. George Smith, housing case manager at the foundation, said that those with "nowhere else to turn" and those with "the most pressing need for shelter" will receive first priority for housing. Residents will be allowed to stay for up to two years, at which time Mercy House will try to find them permanent housing. Currently, Mercy House is working to develop permanent housing of its own (Le, Los Angeles Times, 4/29).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.