Thursday, March 17, 2011

Alarm Over SF AIDS Budget Changes;
Urgent Friday Meeting Set

Mergers. They are a key answer to the question of what big ticket items AIDS Inc groups and executive directors should consider to survive as a non-profit and not find more of themselves and their employees on the unemployment line.

Mergers have been demanded by people with AIDS and a few uncompromising allies since at least 1999, and only once has San Francisco seen it happen since then. That was when the Tenderloin AIDS Resource Center and the Continuum agency, which were located within half a block of one another, each with big overhead and capacity building costs, joined forces and become one service agency. A great benefit to people with AIDS.

But I'm getting ahead of myself. The scoop is pink slips have gone out to lots of works at several agencies over changes to AIDS programs receiving federal and local dollars. The SF AIDS Foundation is, unsurprisingly, the winner of recent struggles over available money, with smaller agencies howling at their losses.

Since January I've had people telling me their stories and concerns, generally against the plans of the SF DPH, with one person even suggesting I go back to Ryan White and HIV prevention council regularly and give the panels a piece of my mind. If anyone is asking me to attend a council meeting, you know things are alarming within AIDS Inc.

Today, this note was forwarded to me from a health care advocate. Good to learn the gay community center is rounding up some agencies for an urgent briefing tomorrow. I have no plans to attend. [Rebecca Rolfe just breathed a sign of relief.] Word will get out about what's discussed. We've also got the normal council meetings going on. Plenty of opportunities to talk and strategize.

One aspect giving me fear and inducing major alarms? The fact that Neil Guiliano, former head of the worthless GLAAD who only got to town three months ago with no AIDS resume, is now the ruler at the SF AIDS Foundation, thereby giving him queen bee status at the negotiating table at City Hall. Now that is scary.

Here's the info on the briefing tomorrow from 3:30 to 5:30 PM at the community center:

From: Rebecca Rolfe []
Sent: Tuesday, March 15, 2011 5:10 PM
Subject: Invitation to Discussion re Post July 1 Landscape of HIV Prevention Services

Hi all, I have been in conversation with quite a few folks about the cumulative impact of recent policy and funding changes, and how these cumulative changes (including, but not limited to the “New Directions” initiated by DPH HIV Prevention Division; a continued decrease in funding available; and the results from the most recent RFP process regarding DPH HIV Prevention funding) will impact the landscape of HIV prevention services available in San Francisco starting July 1.

Folks seemed interested in coming together for an open ended conversation about how to assess the impact of these changes, how to anticipate what the impact on the community will be, if there are community needs that are identified, and how we may be able to work together and address those needs. Given the interest, I worked with a couple of folks to set up a meeting for this Friday, from 3:30 – 5:30 here at the Center.

Apologies for the short notice, and if you are not able to attend personally, but have someone else at your agency that you feel would be appropriate, please feel free to pass this invitation along to them.

The major goal for the meeting is to begin to identify what services will be available come July 1, to see if there is common concern about what that service provision landscape looks like, and to see if folks want to work together to address the concerns.

For that reason, I would love to limit this discussion – at least at this stage – to folks who are current either providing services or part of referral networks. We can talk further about whether and how to expand this dialogue, but this will at least give us a place to start.

Within that framework, please feel free to pass this invitation along to other folks/agencies that you think would be appropriate and/or would be able to contribute to the discussion.

There are a few folks that I don’t have current contact info for, and would love it if any of you could forward this to: Bay Positives, Homeless Youth Alliance, Instituto Familiar, Mission Neighborhood Health Center, St. James Infirmary, or Walden House.

Please let me know if you are planning to attend, and I will make sure I work to find a room able to accommodate us and our discussion. - Rebecca

No comments: