AIDS, LGBT Advocates Demand Expansion of Welfare Benefits to All HIV+ New Yorkers

For Immediate Release

VOCAL-NY
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AIDS, LGBT Advocates Demand Expansion of Welfare Benefits to All HIV+ New Yorkers

Statewide campaign is first proactive expansion of welfare in a decade, part of End AIDS commitment

NEW YORK, NY - On Thursday, Oct. 9th, 2014 at noon (12pm) on the steps of City Hall, dozens of NYC's leading AIDS Service and LGBT organizations and electeds will launch a campaign to create a single point of access for all New Yorkers living with HIV in order to receive enhanced rental assistance, increased food and transportation
allowance and seamless support services.

The campaign will advocate for the same welfare benefits that are currently available to New York City residents who have an "AIDS" diagnosis according to the State AIDS Institute to now be available to individuals who reside outside of the City and to those who are HIV+.

"The science is way ahead of us. We know that getting people into permanent housing-and the enhanced rental assistance here is the difference between homelessness and housing-is one of the best ways to keep people healthy and to outpace new infections.", said Jason Walker, HIV Organizer with VOCAL-NY.

In June, Governor Cuomo announced his commitment to end AIDS in New York State. The first meeting of his End AIDS Task Force will take place on October 14th. This is one proposal that the Task Force is expected to review.

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WHO: Elected officials, HIV/AIDS & LGBTQ leaders, people directly impacted

WHEN: Thursday, Oct. 9th @ 12PM

WHERE: Steps of City Hall

CONFIRMED: Senator Brad Hoylman, Senator Ruth Hassell-Thompson, Council Member Corey Johnson, Council Member Stephen Levin, Chair of the General Welfare Committee, NYC Public Advocate, Leticia James

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Voices Of Community Advocates & Leaders (VOCAL-NY) is a statewide grassroots membership organization building power among low-income people affected by HIV/AIDS, the drug war and mass incarceration, along with the organizations that serve us, to create healthy and just communities. We accomplish this through community organizing, leadership development, public education, direct services, participatory research and direct action.

VOCAL-NY was formerly known as the New York City AIDS Housing Network (NYCAHN) until 2010.

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