Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2018-09-19
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

South Side Help Center to celebrate 30th anniversary
by Matt Simonette
2017-09-27

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


South Side Help Center ( SSHC ), for Executive Director Vanessa Smith, has long been a family affair. Her mother, Betty, founded SSHC 30 years ago.

"She started the organization, and she enlisted her two daughters to help," Vanessa recalled. "I ran the HIV youth development program and my sister ran after-school programs. "We were both very much involved, and my dad was on the board of directors. I kind of grew up in the Center."

SSHC will celebrate its 30th-anniversary milestone with its gala, Keeping the Legacy Alive on Saturday, Sept. 30, at 5 p.m. at the Parkway Ballroom, 4455 S. Martin Luther King Dr. Among those appearing will be singers Kenny Lattimore and Maggie Brown.

"It's going to be a star-studded event," said Vanessa, laughing.

She said that she credits some of the honorees as helping ensure SSHC's longevity, such as Thresholds CEO Mark Ishaug, who "helped open the door to the Help Center starting to provide case-management services as well as housing-services when he was with AIDS Foundation of Chicago. When I became executive director, he took me under his wing and mentored me. Those types of relationships really help to sustain us and keep us viable."

The celebration, she emphasized, was geared to honoring "key relationships with colleagues and comrades in HIV/AIDS prevention."

The biggest challenge for SSHC, as with many non-profit organizations, remains securing funding. The organization's budget is now about $1.2 million, down from about $5 million some years back. SSHC now gets a good deal of funding from Los Angeles-based AIDS Healthcare Foundation ( AHF ), with whom it entered into a partnership about three years ago.

With that funding, "We're able to paint on a larger canvas and we're able to co-brand marketing efforts," Vanessa said. "But with the economy in a downturn—and I think there's HIV 'giving-fatigue'—there has been a lot that contributes to us having a really hard time the last five years. But now we're on the rebound."

The partnership with AHF allowed SSHC to expand wraparound services, Vanessa said. "I wanted an all-in-one shop for a lot of our individuals living with HIV. It seemed like a perfect opportunity."

AHF's CEO, Michael Weinstein, sometimes sparked controversy among HIV/AIDS advocates when he has spoken out against pre-exposure prophylaxis ( PrEP ) as a long-term prevention strategy. Vanessa noted that SSHC nevertheless helps clients access PrEP; she estimated about 20-30 persons utilize the intervention after SSHC referrals.

Weinstein was focused on "preserving organizations like ours," according to Vanessa, who also emphasized that, "We don't deny people PrEP. … We have a lot of patients on PrEP through the AHF clinic."

Vanessa acknowledged the challenges involved in doing healthcare and advocacy work in a part of town where resources are not as plentiful.

"We deal with major issues of stigma, homophobia, lack of access to quality healthcare, and now we have to deal with violence," she said. "Violence can deter people from getting on the bus and going to see a doctor. It really does create a 'perfect storm'—we have high rates of STIs and HIV/AIDS, and now we have hepatitis and meningitis on the increase. It's difficult to find patients and encourage them to get to a doctor. We have huge obstacles we have to deal with."

The upcoming celebration will be about honoring many persons who've helped SSHC, but Vanessa still draws inspiration from her mother, Betty.

"She taught me to be humble and to be fearless, and to speak out against injustices," Vanessa said. "That was my mom. That was what it was like growing up. She would always speak out against injustices, she was always humble enough to sit down and break bread with clients."

For information on the gala, or SSHC services, visit SouthSideHelp.org .


facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email





Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

2018 MIDWEST LGBTQ HEALTH SYMPOSIUM Boykin focuses on racism and health, wellness 2018-09-19 - Black AIDS Institute ( BAI ) Policy, Advocacy and Mobilization Senior Coordinator Maximillian Boykin addressed a packed, standing-room-only crowd about "How Racism is ...


Gay News

Glamping, AIDS Run & Walk, and more 2018-09-19 - —Glamping at The Gwen ( https://www.thegwenchicago.com/rooms-suites/glamping/ ): Time is winding down to enjoy the glamping experience at the upscale River North hotel The ...


Gay News

Court Rules Wisc. State Employee Health Insurance Must Cover Transgender Workers 2018-09-19 - A federal court found that denying health insurance for gender-affirming medical care violates the Constitution and federal non-discrimination law. The federal lawsuit ...


Gay News

2018 MIDWEST LGBTQ HEALTH SYMPOSIUM Jessica Halem keynote LGBTQ health symposium 2018-09-19 - Jessica Halem, a former Chicagoan and Harvard Medical School's first-ever LGBT program director, gave the keynote address, "Honor the Dead and Fight for ...


Gay News

Chicagoan raises money and pride walking to fight HIV/AIDS 2018-09-19 - Christopher Pazdernik was filled with fear and shame that day in 2009 when he learned he is HIV-positive. "I was so embarrassed and ...


Gay News

NATIONAL Third-gender option, HIV+ military, intersex guide, West Hollywood 2018-09-18 - People born in New York City who don't identify as male or female will have the option of changing their birth certificates to ...


Gay News

Court Rules Case Challenging Defense Dept. HIV Discrimination Can Proceed 2018-09-14 - ( Alexandria, VA September 14, 2018 ) — Today, a Virginia federal court ruled a case filed by Lambda Legal and OutServe-SLDN, along ...


Gay News

LGBTQ+ family group Fortunate Families responds to Cathlolic clerical abuse 2018-09-14 - Fortunate Families, Inc., Catholic Family, Friends & Allies Ministry Supporting LGBTQ+ Sisters and Brothers, today sent a letter to Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, President ...


Gay News

Intersex-Affirming Hospital Policy Guide Published 2018-09-14 - ( New York, NY ) — interACT: Advocates for Intersex Youth, Lambda Legal, and Proskauer Rose LLP have released the nation's first intersex-affirming ...


Gay News

Study Reveals Which Transgender Teens Have Highest Suicide Risk 2018-09-12 - TUCSON, Ariz. — Research has shown that transgender adolescents are at greater risk for attempting suicide than cisgender teens, who identify with the ...


 



Copyright © 2018 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Sponsor

About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.