Helping Clients Find Housing — and Health
In 2015, Seattle’s homeless crisis was growing and Bailey-Boushay House (BBH) was seeing more people with HIV/AIDS end up on the streets, without shelter, food or support. This made it impossible for many of these people to stay on their HIV medications or manage their medical needs. When BBH launched a project to help these people get into housing, Costco was right behind us with financial support.
The Housing Stability Project helps BBH clients get credit and background checks, fill out housing applications and travel to housing appointments. It also offers classes that teach life skills like self-care, managing money, cleaning and home maintenance. Costco’s support over the past two years has enabled us to offer hundreds of these classes, which are led by people who were previously homeless.
“When someone with HIV is homeless, they’re far more likely to stop taking their medications, be hospitalized and die prematurely,” says Brian Knowles, BBH’s executive director. “The Housing Stability Project helps people avoid these problems and it’s 100 percent supported by grants and philanthropy – it wouldn’t exist without Costco and supporters like them.”
The program has made an enormous difference in the lives of people like “AH,” a man in his 60s who came to BBH at a time when he was homeless, had stopped his HIV medications and was using crystal meth. BBH gave him the meals and support he needed to stop using drugs, find an apartment and get back on his medications.
Today, his HIV levels have fallen so low that the virus is undetectable in his blood.
“Unfortunately, there are many more people like AH in our community,” Brian Knowles says. “We’re committed to helping them get back on their feet, and we’re extraordinarily grateful to have donors like Costco by our side.”