The PLWA Project (People Living with AIDS)
Food, Friends and Fellowship; a Saturday evening communal dinner for individuals living with HIV/AIDS. Saturdays from 5:00 to 6:30 pm in the St. Luke’s School dining room.
With Over 30,000 Dinners Served, the PLWA Program Comes to a Close on Saturday October 1, 2016 with Celebratory Dinner
Twenty-nine years ago, our parish found itself at the epicenter of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. At that time there were few resources for those diagnosed with the disease. Part of St. Luke’s response to the crisis was the People Living with HIV/AIDS Dinner Program (PLWA). It was an innovative and cutting edge program, one of the few programs of its type in New York City.
Those of us who have been a part of this program from the very beginning will remember Father Laughlin saying he hoped to see the day when there would no longer be a need for the dinner. Now that there are many programs and services available beyond our program and because medications have transformed HIV/AIDS from an acute to a manageable condition, that day has arrived.
On the basis of a thorough evaluation by St. Luke’s Outreach Committee and discussions among members of the Vestry, the decision has been made to bring our People Living with HIV/AIDS Dinner Program to its conclusion on Saturday, October 1, 2016. This decision was made, in part, to pave the way for serving new, unmet needs in the community.
It is difficult to close a program that has been such a large part of St. Luke’s life for almost three decades; however, there is important work to be done as we move forward and focus on serving traumatized LGBTQ youth experiencing homelessness and children from low income families failing to thrive in under-resourced schools.
You can download the full letter from PLWA program chairs, Bruce Goerlich and David McCorkle here.
Art & Acceptance at St. Luke's
A Saturday evening drop-in program for homeless and marginally housed Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer/Questioning Youth and their Allies between the ages of 16 and 24. We offer basketball, yoga, writing, voguing, board games, special events, a nutritious meal, a “pop up” shop, and crisis intervention counseling by social workers, in a culturally sensitive environment. Through our partnership with Project STAY, a multidisciplinary team of healthcare professionals offers comprehensive health services, including pregnancy/STI/HIV testing, education, and cutting edge preventive measures. The LeGaL Foundation, in conjunction with the LGBT Committee of the Pro Bono Council of Sanctuary for Families, provides legal services. Saturdays from 7:00 to 9:15 pm in the St. Luke’s School.
We do our very best to provide an LGBTQ affirming space where we use the principles of harm reduction the “meet the young people where they are at” in any given moment. The young people who attend the program are frequently marginally housed and are navigating the shelter system in New York City. At Art & Acceptance we treat everybody with dignity and respect. LGBTQ youth are much more likely to experience homelessness than their heterosexual peers due to rejection within their families of origin. Most of our male identified youth are young men of color, ages 16-24, who experience higher rates of violence than any other group, and lack targeted culturally responsive programs due to prevalent cultural biases that do not recognize symptoms of trauma in young men of color. The high rates of rejection that LGBTQ youth experience within their families of origin result in increased exposure to depression, PTSD, anxiety, sexual exploitation, intimate partner violence, HIV infection, other untreated chronic medical and mental health conditions, substance use and homelessness. At Art & Acceptance staff and volunteers create an affirming and welcoming environment where young people can come each week for support.
Please consider donating gently used clothing and sample sized toiletries for our “pop-up” shop. Much needed items include socks, undershirts, over-sized sized t shirts and large jeans, backpacks, bar soap, deodorant, pocket sized tissues, toothbrushes, and toothpaste. We are also in need of R/T Metrocards to make sure our youth arrive at their next destinations safely.
The GO Project at St. Luke’s
The GO Project shapes the futures of low-income New York City public school children by providing critical academic, social, and emotional support, starting in the early elementary years. We provide year-round educational and family support services to children who are performing below grade level and equip them with the confidence and skills needed to succeed at school, at home, and in life. Saturdays from 9:30 am to 12:30 pm, October to April; Five weeks (full days) from July to August.
In support of our Kindergarten classrooms, we are hoping for donations of gently used iPads.
TO VOLUNTEER and for additional information about our On the Block Outreach programs please contact Joanne Bartosik, Outreach Development and Program Manager, tel. 212.414.7442 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
GIVE NOW ... To make a charitable, tax deductible donation to our Outreach Programs click on the GIVE NOW button on the right - at the Donation Destination drop down menu, pick the program you wish to make your donation to.
THANK YOU for your support!