Never Me Too, Again!
Recently, Becky was sexually assaulted in her office helping him through care navigation by a new walk-in client who had some mental health issues.Because of HIPAA laws regarding patient privacy, doors are closed to ensure confidentiality.Becky was assaulted and traumatized by the client until she was able to walk out.The trauma of the situation paralyzed her ability to quickly communicate she needed immediate help. Unfortunately, this was the second time by another client that this happened to Becky just doing social services work.
The client was quickly escorted out of the building. The police responded to our emergency call and an arrest warrant was issued for the sexual assault.After weeks of therapy, Becky communicated to us her journey and disappointment.It was tough for all of us to listen to, it was raw, frank and extremely emotional for all of us to process.Becky insisted we continue to protect clients’ privacy but a solution had to be sought for everyone’s safety, but we just don’t have funds to make the needed changes.
The solution:Glass safety doors and panic hardware in each of the Care Navigation Team’s office would protect private conversations, provide see through ability for staff’s harm reduction, and the panic alarm would let us to identify staff in harm immediately with visible access through the glass doors.But we need to raise money to have each door installed in the 6 offices.
We need your support, so this never happens again.Sexual assault.is not acceptable even when helping clients and in the era of “Me, too!”, we need to protect our staff.No one should ever feel their safety is threatened by sexual assault or physical harm. $7,500 is a small price to prevent sexual assault!
Helping clients into care including those with mental health needs is hard work for our tireless staff.But our staff should never be sexually assaulted or physically threatened.But the staff at Being Alive are tireless advocates in getting HIV+ clients into care, keeping them in care, and ensuring they are in viral suppression to help us end HIV.
Being Alive needs to raise $25,000 to help support our on-going work that is projected to deliver more than 23,500 HIV client service deliveries by the end September. The number of clients we help including an increase in homelessness, grew by 237% last year and this year’s trend remains similar.
So far in 2018, Being Alive has:
1. Mental Health Therapy is 182% of annual goal.The number of clients needing mental health services continues to grow even with the 17 mental health therapy interns on staff.Additionally, clients work concurrently with the care coordinator team for wellness services, case management, social services navigation, risk reduction education and an array of services.This multi-prong approach nets a higher rate of viral suppression with our clients than with just bio-medical interventions alone.
2.Clients access an array of services with our volunteer providers from leading universities, colleges and medical training facilities.As a training site for these higher educational training institutions, interns under clinical guidance with their professors, are earning masters and doctoral degrees in their profession can provide care to our clients at no-cost.Proven therapeutic HIV integrated care includes acupuncture, chiropractic care, hypnotherapy, emotional support groups, art therapy, mental health services and so much more
3. Bringing clients out isolation through social activities, emotional support groups and educational health updates increases their engagement in care.Clients are far less likely to fall out of healthcare because of accessing services through Being Alive.
4. Being Alive clients remain healthier and stay in care more than non-clients.In fact, they have a higher HIV viral suppression rate of 94.2% compared to the Los Angeles County average of 63%. Viral suppression ensures clients are not transmissible for HIV.
5. Outreach to the vulnerable populations at-risk including the homeless and communities of disparities is critical in curbing the spread of HIV and other STIs.Ensuring adequate resources and efficiently linking people to care. By working directly with over 100 fellow nonprofit agencies and other service providers, more and more clients are referred through word of mouth of Being Alive delivered over 15,000 direct outreach interaction services to these at-risk populations throughout Los Angeles County last year.
6. Being Alive staff consistently does community HIV prevention outreach better than anyone at festivals, street fairs and at community events.It is highly unusual that people line-up and stay in line for as much as 20 minutes to come to a Health Outreach booth.But because Being Alive’s staff has found a formula that connects with people, engages them in participation, and ensures that everyone walks away learning something new the impact is immeasurable.We love hearing the stories from people whose lives were changed as a result of visiting our booth the prior year. Nothing validates the work we do more when people share these personal stories with our outreach staff.
7. Restoring dignity is in our mission.Most of our clients are 200-300% of the Federal Poverty Level.Living off $30 a month after paying rent and medical leaves little for clothing, enjoyment or even a treat.Interns and staff provide clothing drives, barbeque picnics, nutritional workshops and the annual holiday party to help restore their dignity.Client don’t need to live in shame at Being Alive as we know their struggle and we constantly find ways to add quality to their lives.
We operate with a very small budget of approximately $500,000, a fraction of other agencies. In fact, of the 12 top HIV service agencies including medical service agencies, we have the smallest staff and smallest budget of them all but deliver more services annually than any other agency.
For more than 30 years, sending clients to Being Alive is cost efficient for those agencies, but it is costly for Being Alive to provide at no-cost. So, we depend heavily on in-kind contributions of time and on individual financial donations to do our work. Without our supporters, we would not exist. We may be small, but we make a tremendous impact on HIV with prevention and viral suppression.
We may not be as well-known as the larger HIV agencies, but our impact would be greatly felt throughout Los Angeles County if we are not here. It would be seismic in the County if we could not deliver the more than 23,000 deliveries in HIV care services to the clients. We hope that you will help us make it through the rest of the year by contributing $10, $25, $100, $1000 to our work.
Your support will allow us to keep working towards our vision finally ending this epidemic. Thank you!