Good Works, Better Practices, Great Homes
An interactive guide to operating AIDS housing

Introduction

This manual was developed to assist organizations interested in developing and strengthening supportive AIDS housing programs as well as to help experienced providers enhance their current services. It contains links to useful documents, regulations, sample policies and other materials you will find educational and pertinent to your work. 

These sample policies, procedures and forms were originally culled from the resources generously provided to us by members of the Connecticut AIDS Resource Coalition in 2002. To insure relevance, the manual was reviewed and revised with the input of CARC member agencies in 2010. Each section offers a simple but comprehensive way to offer services that will enrich the lives of your residents and improve the functioning of your program. While materials you find here are generally provided as minimum definitions, some great practices are also offered from the field for agencies interested in exploring new models of service provision. Other offerings are bare templates designed to be further developed at the provider level taking into account member agencies’ histories and missions, individual funding requirements and unique populations and targets.

In some areas of this manual you will find more than one policy and procedure for a given topic. The intent is to provide complimentary as well as contrasting policies and procedures that have proven effective. The aim is to demonstrate the diversity found among the programs operating supportive AIDS housing programs in Connecticut. Ultimately, each provider will find what works best to meet the needs of their individual residents, programs and funders.

This project continues as a collaborative process of Coalition member agencies and consumers. It could not have been done without our member agencies willing to share their policies and procedures. The original creators were Laura Thornton and Eileen McCarthy with design by Cherie Mittenthal. 

The latest contributors and collaborators included providers and consumers including: Charles Capers, Alexis Sanchez, Barbara Shaw, Luis Caballero, Sara Ventura, Carolyn Barbaresi, Joan Gallagher, Melanie Johnson, Tom Salemme, Madeline Torres-Baird, Kathy Shanley, John Selders, Khelen Kuzmovich, Hugo Nuñez, Keysha Starks, Maria Lutz, Jodie Craig, Diannn Pertillar, Esther Cox-Greene, Cathy Shanley, Ric Browne, Lori Wesoly, Melanie Johnson , Maria Lutz,  William Colon, Yolanda Potter, Sister Ann Kane, José Vega, Rev. John Selders, Janet Coffa, and Joyce Sioch.

CARC’s Continous Quality Improvement Committee also provided review and input.  Ann Levie of Ann Levie Associates was the most recent facilitator and editor. CARC staff support was provided by Cecilia Lewis.

A grateful shout-out to all for their hard work.

John Merz
Executive Director


Types of Housing

The policies & procedures in this manual are designed for the specific housing models presented below, however they have been useful to providers of other types of residential programs such as long term care facilities and shelters that support the victims of domestic violence. The level of functioning of residents will vary for each program. People in programs that offer greater support tend to be sicker, and have typically counted on fewer social and family supports. In recent years, public policy has created barriers to shelter for people with criminal offences including sexual offences as well as for those with no ability to pay for housing or services. Please note that services associated with each model may be provided in-house or by referral, but all efforts to obtain services and results of all efforts including referrals for service should be documented by the housing staff in client files.

Shelter
An Emergency Shelter is a facility that meets the basic needs for food and shelter on an emergency or short-term basis. Eligible residents are individuals or families with HIV/AIDS who are homeless. Services provided by the shelters are designed to increase residents' stability, skill levels and self-determination with an ultimate goal of helping people find long term, appropriate housing. Residents are not denied services due to an inability to pay.

Transitional Living Program (TLP)
A Transitional Living Program is either congregate or scattered site housing and is intended to prepare residents for transition in long-term, appropriate housing. Eligible residents are individuals or families with HIV/AIDS who are homeless or at risk of being homeless. Residents are not denied support services due to the inability to pay a fee and may or may not be required to enter into a lease. Residents are required to participate in services. Services provided by the AIDS housing program are designed to increase residents' stability, skill levels, and self-determination and transition them into permanent housing within a 12-24 month period.

Independent Living Program (ILP)
An Independent Living Program may be individual apartments, with or without a subsidy, or a shared living program. Eligible residents are individuals or families with HIV/AIDS who are homeless or at risk of being homeless. Residents are fairly independent, able to manage activities of daily living, and need some support and structure.

Supportive Living Program (SLP)
A Supportive Living Program is a group residence or hospice program designed for people with HIV/AIDS that may include people discharged from hospitals, nursing homes or other care facilities who are not well enough to return to a setting without 24 hour supervision. Please note that SLP care does not necessarily include 24 hour nursing or medical care. Eligible residents are individuals with HIV/AIDS who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. Residents may have a substance use or mental health history and/or may have a diminished capacity to manage their activities of daily living (ADLs) and require a supportive and structured environment. Hospice or terminal care is included in this category. Participation in services by residents is required. No one is denied services due to inability to pay a fee.