“If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant: if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome.” — Anne Bradstreet, Meditations Divine and Moral
After a long season of adversity, APEB is enjoying the prosperity of Spring 2017:
- We have received $225,000 in corporate and foundation grant funding so far this year to enhance our LGBT support groups, to provide comprehensive sexual health education as part of our Biomedical HIV Prevention Program (PrEP@apeb.org), and to conduct a series of discussions with African American LGBT youth in East Oakland about health education, HIV awareness, and empowerment.
- The licensing application for our new community primary care clinic, The Wellness Center @ City of Refuge, has been approved by the California Department of Public Health. The two-exam room clinic located at 8400 Enterprise Way is being prepped for opening, and Medical Director Dr. Donna DeFreitas is eager to start seeing our patients again.
- New property management is in place at both our Tracy House location (5001/5003 Foothill Blvd.) and our downtown Oakland location (1320/1322 Webster Street). Repair work has resumed on Webster, and the first floor of the building should be ready for us to occupy again by the 4th of July.
- Care Services Department Manager David Hillary (case management, housing support services, substance use counseling, psychosocial support services) and Prevention Services Department Manager Nigel Weatherspoon (HIV/HCV testing and outreach, youth and young adult services, biomedical HIV prevention program, MSM and transgender outreach programs) have brought new energy and focus to the front-line service providers at the agency.
In my second year as Executive Director, APEB is benefiting from the formation of a new management team, an agency-wide culture of collaboration, and an enduring focus on serving people who live on the margins of society.
As a same gender loving black man living with HIV who was born and raised in East Oakland, I am excited to announce the expansion of the services already offered at City of Refuge near Coliseum BART at 8400 Enterprise Way. Our Ryan White Program case managers, Housing Specialist, and AIDS Medi-Cal Waiver Program team are all located in Suite 116. APEB clients are now able to access our City of Refuge food pantry, and soon Suite 120 will open as The Wellness Center, a community primary care clinic.
Our two leased spaces near Fremont High School (collectively known as Tracy House) are being reworked to better accommodate our two substance use programs. Alcohol and other drug use can play a significant role in the spread of HIV. APEB’s YouthLink program, focused on substance use prevention for 13-24 year olds, will keep the drop-in center on the corner of 50th and Foothill at 5001 Foothill Blvd. The Get REAL (Recovery, Empowerment, And Life) program, focused on substance use counseling for adults, will use the door at 5003 Foothill Blvd. to enter the building and receive services without having to pass through the youth space.
Our Administrative Coordinator, Pearlin Grannum, has helped to create an energizing and efficient working environment on the 4th floor of the building in downtown Oakland and has taken the lead on managing many of our infrastructure improvement projects. While we wait for work on the lower levels of the building to be completed, staff continues to provide limited services in the administrative space at 1322 Webster Street, including HIV/HCV testing, linkage to care services, and support groups.
APEB’s amazing employees deserve credit for using the disruption of last year’s fire as an opportunity to embrace change and growth. Six staff members flew to Dallas in January for the National MSM Leadership Conference on HIV/AIDS and Other Health Disparities (NAESM) and participated as presenters, co-presenters, or panelists for 10 different workshops. HealthLink Navigator and ADAP Coordinator Raymond Brickhouse joined the State Planning Group with the California Office of AIDS and was elected as co-chair of the PLWHA Committee and the next community co-chair of the Collaborative Community Planning Council. HealthLink Navigator and Transgender Outreach Coordinator Cory Moreland was accepted into the Human Rights Campaign’s HIV 360° Fellowship Program. APEB is staffed by a team of leaders, all of whom are doing powerful work for our community.
Please support our work and our continued growth by sharing your time, your talent, and/or your money with us. You can give tax deductible donations by mail (1322 Webster St, Ste 402, Oakland, CA 94612) or through the DONATE buttons on our website and Facebook page. You can share your time and talent by serving on our Board of Directors, our Community Advisory Board, or as a Volunteer. (Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org for details.)
AIDS Project of the East Bay (APEB) started 34 years ago in response to health and information disparities between gay white men in San Francisco and gay black men in Oakland. In 2017, Alameda County remains in a State of Emergency because of the high incidence of HIV infection among African Americans. APEB now provides HIV prevention and care services in three locations across Oakland, and our mobile testing unit allows us to reach people throughout the East Bay. We are changing the way we serve so that we can help change the HIV epidemic locally and provide an example of effective community-based service provision to organizations around the country.
As a team, we are enjoying the upward trajectory APEB is on. We are enjoying working together to figure out ways to provide better, more innovative, and more appropriate services to our community. We are going spend this spring enjoying all of our recent successes. And we will spend this summer preparing for the next winter.