Chicago, IL -
Better Existence with HIV (BEHIV) Board of Directors tell ChicagoPride.com that after 21 years of service to the community BEHIV is closing its doors.
"As community-based organizations are finding it more and more difficult to maintain their current level of service due to outside factors beyond their control, BEHIV has not been immune to these factors," the Board said in a statement released Friday morning to ChicagoPride.com.
With the struggling national economy, giving has been down 25% nationwide for charitable organizations.
Another major change impacting BEHIV and potentially other Chicago-based community organizations is the probability that the AIDS Foundation of Chicago
(AFC) will receive the award for Ryan White Part A for case management.
BEHIV tells ChicagoPride.com that it has been pre-determined by AFC that agencies without an on-site medical clinic would not be part of on-going Ryan White Part A case management services. This means that BEHIV would lose the majority of its case management program and funding for this service.
In its announcement, the board was clear their priority remains the clients. BEHIV, which is located in Rogers Park, has been terminating active contracts so clients can transition to other agencies before the doors officially close. A majority of clients are reportedly transitioning to Chicago House and Social Service Agency
for continued services.
Founded in 1989, BEHIV has served Northern Chicago, Evanston and surrounding suburban communities. Since opening with only one paid staff member in its first year, BEHIV has seen the course of HIV/AIDS treatments move from one of illness with end of life care to long term management of a chronic condition.
The board says, "There remains a dire need for comprehensive social services, mental health and preventative services if we ever truly want to win the war against this virus."
"BEHIV leaves the community with pride, grace and a sense of accomplishment; we have succeeded in our mission, which quite simply, has been to help people live."