The AIDS Foundation of Chicago (AFC) is pleased to announce its plan to provide Taskforce Prevention and Community Services (Taskforce) and Chicago Black Gay Men's Caucus (CBGMC) with development grants and support in long-term strategic planning.
As a result of these Capacity Building Assistance (CBA) partnerships, both Taskforce and CBGMC will be able to continue their daily operations while also increasing their capacity to serve the HIV community. The organizations serve Black gay and bisexual men and transgender women, populations that are highly vulnerable to HIV. Of new HIV cases in Chicago, 1 in 2 are among African Americans and 3 in 4 are among gay and bisexual men.
Erik Glenn, executive director of CBGMC, noted, "Through this [assistance], the Caucus will be able to connect greater numbers of Black gay, bisexual and same-gender-loving men to accessible, high-impact health services."
“Taskforce and CBGMC have been disproportionately impacted by the budget stalemate in Springfield," said Ramon Gardenhire, AFC's vice president of Policy and Advocacy. "If we plan on making inroads into reducing new HIV infections and linking people to care, it is essential that vital local organizations addressing community challenges continue to thrive.”
Primarily, these CBA partnerships will give both Taskforce and CBGMC the necessary tools to find crucial funding opportunities and build new partnerships with other community organizations in order to expand their ability to serve their respective communities. "Partnering with Taskforce and CBGMC will allow AFC staff to work closely with both organizations to ensure that every effort is made to increase the success of their work for the Chicago HIV community,” said AFC President/CEO John Peller.
"Taskforce is proud to partner with AFC to sustain key services for Chicago's African-American LGBTQ youth and transgender population," said Alonzo Brown, interim executive director of Taskforce Prevention and Community Services. "Our collaboration with AFC positions us for the long term and continues much-needed services and resources, including our drop-in center, which vulnerable African-American LGBTQ youth on Chicago’s West Side depend on each day."
AFC's mission is to lead the fight against HIV/AIDS, and the organization continues to do this through the support of two organizations that break down barriers to care, prevention and education. Ultimately, Cynthia Tucker, AFC's vice president of Prevention and Community Partnerships, believes these partnerships are vital. “The two strategic partnerships represent an alliance to expand the overall quality of life in the organization’s communities, while decreasing gaps in services and building their infrastructure."
AFC's partnership with Taskforce will be from June 1, 2015 through Dec. 31 2015 and with CBGMC from Sept. 1, 2015 through Aug. 31, 2016.
Taskforce Prevention and Community Services is located in Chicago's Austin neighborhood, and the agency provides vital services to youth who are vulnerable to HIV. Taskforce works to ensure that communities with otherwise limited resources have access to HIV testing, care and prevention education. The organization operates a drop-in youth center that remains an essential asset for their community's youth.
Chicago Black Gay Men's Caucus works within greater Chicago to help gay and bisexual Black men find and access support resources. CBGMC works to diminish barriers between traditional and non-traditional health care providers to prevent new HIV infections among Black men who have sex with men. CBGMC continues to provide essential services through their work to empower Black gay men to take advantage of health care resources.