The Greater Wheeling Coalition for the Homeless is excited to announce that after 31 years of service, they are introducing a new program that will assist people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness and living with HIV/AIDS.
“We have a test run of eight months to try to reach out to those folks who are living in the Northern Panhandle of West Virginia with HIV/AIDS that might be in a housing crisis and facing homelessness,” said Executive Director Lisa Badia.
The Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS, or HOPWA, program will provide housing assistance and other services to those who qualify from Hancock County down to Wetzel County.
If you are not from the Northern Panhandle, there are several partner organizations throughout the state that provide assistance.
“If you’re not in our area but you think you could qualify for HOPWA, we can refer you,” said Badia.
If the HOPWA program is successful, the Coalition can reapply for funding to extend it.
It is all part of the Coalition’s mission to reach the homeless or those at risk of homelessness in all walks of life, regardless of what led to their circumstances.
“It’s not just your typical stereotype of someone who is scruffy-looking. You have people who walk through that you would never think on the street that they are struggling,” said Program Coordinator Jordan Harris.
They say this new program, combined with other services, will help the Coalition lead people to self-sufficiency.
“I think it’s just really important to note that we really want to sustain a person in housing. We really want to promote a better health outcome. We want the quality of life to improve. We really want in the end for that person to be self-sufficient,” said Badia.
To speak to someone about the HOPWA program or a referral, call 304-232-6105.