BY MICHELLE GARCIA | JUNE 26 2012
(An excerpt is below, view the full article at The Advocate online)
New York City advocates spoke out after the City Council voted to retain funding for several key services, including the Runaway and Homeless Youth Services program, and funding for HIV/AIDS housing and care services. The announcement comes after the council and Mayor Michael Bloomberg negotiated a $68.5 billion budget, also saving child care services, firehouses, and library funding, and jobs for 650 educators.
Council speaker Christine Quinn recently said services for people with HIV and AIDS could only be cut “over my dead body,” Gay City News reports. Quinn and City Council member Annabel Palma identified $5.1 million in discretionary funds to restore funding for housing and nutrition services for people with HIV/AIDS.
“Homelessness is deadly for people living with HIV/AIDS, but Bloomberg’s public health priorities don’t seem to extend beyond his big soda ban lately,” said Wayne Starks, a VOCAL-NY board member and formerly homeless person living in supportive housing. “This administration has repeatedly slashed funding for housing programs that keep people with HIV/AIDS healthy, while introducing policies like drug testing that are simply an excuse to deny medically appropriate shelter.”