Contact: Jaron Benjamin, (718) 864-3932, firstname.lastname@example.org
WHEN: Friday, February 17th at 12:30pm. March arrives at HRA at 1pm.
WHAT: About 100 clients of the HIV/AIDS Services Administration (HASA) and their allies will march to the Human Resources Administration (HRA), which oversees HASA, to protest budget cuts and new policies that will increase homelessness among New Yorkers living with HIV/AIDS. Once they arrive at HRA, they will demand that Commissioner Doar take a drug test in order to highlight a new drug screening policy.
WHO: Members of VOCAL-NY and ally organizations.
BACKGROUND: The City Council General Welfare Committee held a hearing last week on recent policy changes at HASA that will increase homelessness among people living with HIV/AIDS. One of the policies was announced by HRA Commissioner Doar in a World AIDS Day op-ed for the Huffington Post, where he pledged to get “tough” on drug use among HASA clients by denying housing assistance to those who refuse the limited drug treatment programs they mandate enrollment into.
Activists will demand an end to the new drug screening policy, restoration of $10 million in HIV/AIDS housing and nutrition programs that Mayor Bloomberg would eliminate in next year’s budget, and a 30% rent cap affordable housing protection that would prevent homelessness for more than 10,000 HASA clients with a severe rent share burden and enable an additional 1,000 clients to move out of the shelter system.