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 2020-04-01
About WCMG Publications News  Entertainment Features Donate Bars & Clubs Calendar Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage



Youth homelessness behind teaming of AFC, Vida/SIDA
by Carrie Maxwell, Windy City Times

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

The AIDS Foundation of Chicago ( AFC ) and Vida/SIDA—a project of the Puerto Rican Cultural Center ( PRCC )—are teaming on a new initiative, El Rescate 2.0, to help HIV positive homeless youth get a new lease on life.

This isn't the first time that the AFC and Vida/SIDA has worked together on an initiative. AFC provides case management and prevention services including counseling and testing through Vida/SIDA's Ryan White Case Management program.

"El Rescate 2.0, an extension of our El Rescate program, is a scattered sites permanent supportive housing program for HIV-positive and LGBTQ youth ages 18-24," said Jorge Cestou, Vida/SIDA director of programs and services. "We started this initiative on Jan. 1 with 15 units available to HIV positive homeless youth. We hope to grow the program to 30 units by next year."

Cestou shared that the apartments will be located where the youth want to live with the main location being the Humboldt Park neighborhood.

"We think they will still live within the same area as El Rescate because that's where people go to work or school but they will have their own individual apartments which is different from the shared living arrangement that is El Rescate," said Angelique Miller, AFC's senior director of housing and behavioral health services. "We're being flexible with the ages and will take certain youth that are 17 or 25 if we have a spot available for them."

Cestou and Miller met each other while serving on the Chicago Area HIV Integrated Services Council. They teamed up about six months ago to work on this initiative following discussions in-house at the PRCC-Vida/SIDA about the things they needed to do for the clients who were graduating from the El Rescate program.

The Chicago Department of Public Health and the Illinois Department of Human Services are the primary sources of funding for this program.

"AFC is very excited to work with us on this program since this will be the first time they will have a youth program," said Cestou. "We're excited to partner with them because we're bringing something new to the community. This program is the first of its kind."

"I'm really excited about this program. I've been with AFC for a long time and created a lot of different programming that really identifies individuals that aren't served or haven't been served very well by traditional mainstream homeless programs. There are still a lot of fears, unknowns and stigma about HIV/AIDS in the regular homeless system," said Miller. "This is a big opportunity for us to support these individuals and really encourage other organizations to do something similar. I want to show that youth can be trusted with their own apartments with the proper supports in place so they can succeed in their life."

Miller explained that the program will provide a variety of services to the clients including one-on-one case management in their homes or at the office as well as assistance for issues such as substance use, mental health issues, employment, education and/or family situations.

"The case manager we have assigned to this program is already working with seven clients who are ready to graduate from the El Rescate program and will need to move into a more permanent space," said Cestou.

Cestou noted that they are planning on working with a number of organizations they've partnered with in the past and are already hearing from groups that are interested in helping them with this program.

"We've partnered with Pedro Albizu Campos High School. They have an alternative program for young people up to age 24 who want to go to school so they can graduate with a high school diploma and not just a GED," said Cestou. "We're considering partnering with the University of Chicago. They have a mobile medical van that we want to make available for the program participants. The ultimate goal for the funding is so the participants will be able to attend their medical appointments and adhere to their HIV-medication schedules."

"We're going to do an evaluation component with our researcher at AFC. She's actually been working with us and Vida/SIDA to create the tools for these evaluations," said Miller. "We've been talking nationally to other AIDS-service organizations to see if we can collaborate with them about what we are doing so we can get national statistics and best practices that people in a few years can incorporate in their own communities across the nation."

"We will be making presentations to community-based organizations and the general public to make them aware of what we are doing with this program," said Cestou.

As for the next five years, Miller and Cestou hope they will have 200 units available. They are also looking to expand the program to include non-HIV positive homeless youth clients.

For more information about the program, contact Cestou at or call 773-278-6737.

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.


Gay News

NATIONAL Coronavirus deaths, the CARES Act, Ritchie Torres, trans-youth study 2020-04-06 - Lorena Borjas—a transgender Latina activist who fought for immigrants and sex workers—died of COVID-19 at age 59 at Coney Island Hospital, reported. ...

Gay News

Pritzker announces help for emergency child-care centers 2020-04-05 - Building on the state's response to support families of essential workers and child-care providers throughout Illinois during the COVID-19 pandemic, Gov. JB Pritzker ...

Gay News

Open Door may close amid staff firings, possible loss of funds 2020-04-04 - Open Door Health Center of Illinois ( formerly Open Door Clinic ) is teetering on the brink of closure due to financial issues, ...

Gay News

Advocates: LGBTQs face additional complications in pandemic 2020-04-01 - Members of the LGBT community face additional healthcare challenges as they contend with the 2020 coronavirus pandemic, according to national LGBTQ-health advocates and ...

Gay News

NATIONAL Lesbian bishop, iconic activist dies, military lawsuit, drag legend passes 2020-03-31 - Rev. Bonnie Perry was recently ordained as the 11th bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Michigan—beconing the first woman and openly gay person ...

Gay News

International AIDS Conference to go digital 2020-03-28 - Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the 23rd International AIDS Conference ( AIDS 2020 ), to be held July 6-10, will become the first ...

Gay News

PFLAG to launch TransKids, SoFierce social media campaign on March 31 2020-03-27 - WASHINGTON, DC—Beginning Tuesday, March 31, PFLAG invites allies, family, and friends of transgender kids ( trans kids ) to join a an uplifting ...

Gay News

'Around Broadway' to honor high-school musical-theater students 2020-03-25 - Broadway In Chicago has announced its new social-media program, "Around Broadway in 80 Days." In the wake of the cancellation of The Jimmy ...

Gay News

AFC head details coronavirus response 2020-03-25 - AIDS Foundation of Chicago ( AFC ) is among the Chicago agencies that have mobilized an aggressive response to the coronavirus crisis. AFC ...

Gay News

Stop comparing coronavirus to early HIV/AIDS. Just stop. 2020-03-17 - People ask me if our lives today feel like the early years of HIV/AIDS, and I want to scream. There is no comparison. ...


Copyright © 2020 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.







About WCMG Publications News  Entertainment Features Donate Bars & Clubs Calendar 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 publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.