Los Angeles Housing Facility For Low-Income People With HIV Opens
Casa Alegria, a $9 million townhome community for 44 families affected by HIV/AIDS, officially opened yesterday in the Silver Lake section of Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Times reports. The facility, sponsored by the Salvation Army, is said to be one of the first and largest of its kind in the nation designated specifically for homeless and low-income families affected by HIV/AIDS. The Sunset Boulevard community, funded through a combination of city, county, federal and private funds, includes 16 one- and two-bedroom units available for stays of up to two years and 28 two- and three-bedroom units for permanent housing. Residents will pay no more than 30% of their monthly income, and Federal Section Eight housing vouchers can be used to further reduce rent costs. The facility, which also includes a licensed day care center with room for 60 children, is an offshoot of Bethesda House, a former Salvation Army-sponsored facility in downtown Los Angeles for low-income people with AIDS. Opened in 1992, Bethesda House has since closed and many of its former residents are among the 44 families that are moving into Casa Alegria. Anne Calvo, a registered nurse who serves as divisional health adviser for the Salvation Army and who formerly ran Bethesda House, said such facilities help clients "feel like they can regroup," adding, "Not having to worry about where you're going to sleep or where your next meal is coming from makes a huge difference, emotionally and even physically" (Rivera, Los Angeles Times, 9/11). Douglas Loisel, executive director of the new facility, said that the community will give people with HIV/AIDS and their families a place to stay with "no stigma attached to the diagnosis," explaining that "[a] lot of the families we work with have been ostracized and excluded from other family members and from the larger community" (Associated Press, 9/11).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.