Today, AIDS Foundation Chicago (AFC) is thrilled to join Getting to Zero Illinois (GTZ-IL) in announcing the grant recipients for the first-ever Getting to Zero Illinois Community Grant Program, a pool of grants totaling $350,000. Fourteen organizations across the state have each received one-time grants of up to $30,000 for new projects that will help the state get to zero new HIV transmissions and ensure all people living with HIV are engaged in equitable care.
The grants will support the development of several innovative projects aligned with GTZ-IL strategies including: a support group for caregivers of youth living with HIV, the creation of an anonymous and confidential hotline for Black gay, bisexual and same-gender loving men who use methamphetamine, increased mobile HIV testing and access to equitable dental care options for people living with and disproportionately impacted by HIV.
"AFC was ecstatic to support the creation of the Community Grant Program, thanks to our donors, funders and staff,” said AFC President/CEO John Peller. “We know that many organizations across the state are helping us get to zero but might not have adequate funding to further their work. These grants will aid the creation of transformative projects that advance health equity and our plan to end the HIV epidemic in Illinois. We’re particularly grateful for the support of Alphawood Foundation, which spurred individual donations through a challenge grant.”
AFC and GTZ centered racial equity when selecting grantees; 10 of the 14 agencies are Black- or Latinx-led. The 2021 GTZ-IL Community Grant Program Awardees are: Agape Missions, NFP, Care2Prevent, Christian Community Health Center, Community Wellness Project, Corazon Community Services, Heartland Health Alliance, Lighthouse Foundation of Chicagoland, Lorde, Rustin & Bates, Inc., Medical Organization for Latino Advancement (MOLA), Proactive Community Services, Project Vida, Southside HIV and AIDS Resource Providers (SHARP), Test Positive Aware Network (TPAN) and Westside Pastors’ Coalition for AIDS.
“We are especially grateful to the Community Review Panel members who came from different parts of the state, various backgrounds and represented several of our priority populations to evaluate the pool of applications,” said Sara Semelka, AFC Senior Manager of Special Projects and GTZ-IL Community Grant Program leader and coordinator. “Their recommendations, along with our funding priorities of supporting smaller, Black- and Latino- led organizations has created an amazing cohort of grantees that we are proud to support.”
About Getting to Zero Illinois: Getting to Zero Illinois is a statewide initiative to end the HIV epidemic in the state by 2030. Through partnerships with people living with HIV, community-based organizations, health care providers, government agencies and others, we can dramatically shift HIV transmissions and access to care in Illinois. AIDS Foundation Chicago and the Illinois and Chicago Departments of Public Health coordinate the Getting to Zero Illinois project. To read the full Getting to Zero Illinois plan, click here. To sign up for AFC and Getting to Zero Illinois updates, click here.