Giving Back: December 2011 Housing Works
WE’VE CONTRIBUTED TO THIS SOCIAL ENTERPRISE
New York City-based Housing Works is a healing community of people living with and affected by HIV/AIDS. Their mission is to end the dual crises of homelessness and AIDS through relentless advocacy, the provision of lifesaving services, and entrepreneurial businesses that sustain their efforts.
Key to the success of Housing Works since its founding has been the organization’s three pillars:
Through their advocacy offices in New York City, Albany, Washington D.C., Mississippi and abroad in Haiti and Puerto Rico, Housing Works fights for funding and legislation to ensure that all people living with HIV/AIDS have access to quality housing, healthcare, HIV prevention information and other life-sustaining services, as well as legal protections from stigma and discrimination. Housing Works is a grassroots organization committed to the use of non-violent civil disobedience in order to further their mission to end AIDS and homelessness.
Housing Works prides itself on the comprehensive array of services that they have provided to more than 20,000 homeless and low-income New Yorkers living with HIV/AIDS since 1990. They believe that providing stable housing is healthcare and the first step toward living a long and healthy life. Supportive services include but are not limited to housing, healthcare, meals and nutritional counseling, mental health and substance use treatment, job training, and legal assistance.
Housing Works pioneered the concept of social enterprise–businesses whose profits fund the mission of a parent not-for-profit organization. This self-sustaining model provides employment opportunities to the community in addition to fundraising. Their acclaimed Housing Works Thrift Shops, Housing Works Bookstore Cafe and The Works Catering account for approximately 25% of their $43 million annual operating budget.