WELCOME TO SUPPORT WALK
GET WITH SUPPORT
APLA Health creates a safe space for anyone to be themselves when they walk through our doors. The SUPPORT WALK highlights the vital programs that APLA Health offers for those living with HIV in Los Angeles County. These support programs serve as an integral lifeline for those who may need help staying in care by meeting basic human needs, such as food, housing, and emotional connections.
When you select the SUPPORT WALK, you will learn more about how APLA Health is providing supporting critical programs for older adults living with HIV, nutritious meals, counseling, and housing support. You’ll also learn about our transgender support programs and women’s wellness programs that help our community stay healthy and well, regardless of HIV status.
NOLP FOOD PANTRIES
The Vance North Necessities of Life Program (NOLP) – founded in 1986 – is the largest food pantry program in the US for people living with HIV. NOLP provides fresh and nutritious fruits, vegetables, meat, and dairy, along with dry and canned goods, to more than 2,500 people every year. With our recent program expansion (funded in part by AIDS Walk Los Angeles donations), NOLP is now a full nutritional support program providing 21 meals a week plus snacks. Our goal is to ensure that our NOLP clients – all low-income people living with HIV – don’t have to make the impossible choice between buying food and paying rent.
Just before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, we were implementing a plan to expand NOLP to more sites across Los Angeles County, partnering with more organizations to bring more food to more people than ever before. Although COVID-19 has been a major challenge, our expansion continues. And since the start of COVID-19 shutdowns and layoffs, we have seen a nearly 25% percent increase in the number of people who use our NOLP services, a clear indicator of how fine the line is between food security and insecurity.
Housing and homelessness are critical issues in Los Angeles County. With all the focus on the issue, the most recent Los Angeles homeless count showed an actual increase of 12.7% in the number of homeless individuals in the County. We work with hundreds of low-income people living with HIV every year to find and maintain their housing. We know that with stable housing, our clients are better able to stay healthy; to adhere to their medication regimen, make and keep critical medical appointments, and have lower stress levels and better emotional health.
Our HIV Elders (HIVE) program was the result of listening to our community. We learned that many men over 50 living with HIV suffer from isolation and depression, causing them to disengage from actively managing their health. They stop taking their medications, skip medical visits, and report higher rates of alcohol use. HIVE brings these men together to create a community, to make friends and to literally get out of the house. HIVE is a combination of educational, social and emotional support; we host events, organize outings and provide an opportunity for men to get the emotional support they need. Professional therapists on APLA Health’s behavioral health services team provide a space for people to explore their feelings about anything; aging, anxiety and depression, personal development, and understanding their complicated feelings about being HIV positive including their “survivors” guilt.
Our professional benefits counselors help people navigate the complex and bureaucratic array of programs that are available from Social Security, Ryan White programs, ADAP, PrEP-AP and many more. It’s a complicated alphabet soup designed to help people but can be so confusing that many don’t know where to begin. APLA Health lives and breathes these letters and acronyms, and can get people enrolled in the programs that best meet their needs. We even offer Lyft or Uber transportation to and from their critical appointments.
WOMEN’S WELLNESS PROGRAMS
In 2019, we started ROAR for South Los Angeles’ lesbian, bi-sexual, and queer community and all self-identifying women. ROAR – Reaching Out and Reclaiming – is a call to action for women to reclaim their bodies, their minds, and their voices to prioritize their wellness, empowering themselves to be better equipped to care for their families and communities.
Our support programs for transgender individuals extend beyond just medical care to include all aspects of transition-related care. We can provide emotional support during the transition process, help with finding referrals for gender-affirming surgeries and work with health insurances to cover the costs. We are advocates for the community and creators of spaces where our transgender family are the norm and not the exception.
AIDS Walk Los Angeles supports the work of APLA Health, one of the leading AIDS service organizations in the country and the first to become a community health center. AWLA is traditionally the largest outreach event of its kind in Los Angeles County, raising vital funds to increase medical care, support services and education programs for those living with HIV or at risk of HIV.
Together with your fundraising help, we can end the epidemic in Los Angeles County.