By Bill Parry
The Elton John AIDS Foundation is providing a $50,000 grant to The Fortune Society, a Long Island City nonprofit that advocates for formerly incarcerated men and women living with HIV/AIDS.
A matching grant for the Mac AIDS Fund means that $100,000 will go toward supportive housing and case management services.
For more than 40 years The Fortune Society has developed programs that help former prisoners re-enter their communities. One of the first organizations in the country to recognize and address HIV/AIDS in jails, the group started a health services program in 1990.
The grants will help the transitional services program for HIV-positive individuals who are preparing for their release from Rikers Island.
JoAnne Page, president and CEO of The Fortune Society, said, “Without support, many individuals recently released from incarceration become disconnected from healthcare. They return to old neighborhoods and fall back into habits that perpetuate a cycle of healthcare decline and self-destructive behaviors that often lead back to prison. It’s crucial that we intervene immediately, offering a place for them to live and receive help.”
The Fortune Society provides licensed substance abuse and mental health treatment delivered by a culturally competent staff as well as case managers who work on Rikers Island. They supply transitional planning, transportation, coordination of care, post-release management and connections to medical care.
“We are grateful to the Elton John AIDS Foundation and the Mac AIDS Fund for helping us provide the best possible care to our clients who need it the most,” Page said.
Reach reporter Bill Parry by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718-260-4538.