Wednesday, December 09, 2009

An "HO, HO, HO, Which Way is Up Wednesday

Can you believe that it's only about 64 days to the Winter Olympics, 16 days before Christmas 2009, then a few more days until New Years Eve and the end of our four year run as Arkansas' only daily updating blogsite. Yes, this year has been one for my record book and I will not forget it as we move to the next level of adventure in our journey. Whew, can I get it all in before the fat lady sings? We'll just have to try to keep you updated, linked, and doused with all the latest for the GLBTQ community and beyond. Let's hurry and get this edition rolling....

Radio GA-GA: Even as I prepare to take my final bow, I'm glad to announce that Queer Frontier: The Next Generation has joined the media landscape as Arkansas's new LGBT Internet Radio Show featuring news, local music, Ideas and diveristy. I've listened in to the show showcased in the podcast vein which I'm proud to state this forum was a trailblazer in this arena with offering podcasting several years ago. Just what haven't we've done to stay connected to this community. Meanwhile, QF:TNG has at least 6 shows already prouduced with the featured podcasters, New Beginnings Linda Hull and Bryan Perry. Linda is the voice of the BIG LEZZIE WEATHER REPORT. According to their e-blast they want to feature local community members and allies and LOCAL talent poets, thinkers, musicians etc Please send all announcements
Urge your Federal Elected Officials to Support AIDS Housing
Housing remains an important issue for people living with HIV/AIDS including many in Arkansas who are also dealing with other recently announced cost containment dilemmas. The ongoing crisis in housing for people with HIV and those at risk of infection has been made even worse by the economic meltdown. The fact remains that permanent housing options are simply not available in most parts of the country, and the lack of affordable housing is an emergency situation for more vulnerable households such as low income people with HIV/AIDS. However, the Health Resource Services Administration (HRSA), the government agency that administers the Ryan White Program has reinstated a policy via a Final Policy Notice (73 Federal Register 10260, February 26, 2008 ) that would cap housing assistance in the Ryan White Care Act. People with HIV would have been restricted to just 24 months (2 years) of help over their lifetime, despite the steep challenges to finding and retaining healthy housing. This policy was initially introduced during the Bush administration but people living with HIV/AIDS, AIDS service organizations, housing and health advocates, and a number of members of Congress, fought back. They submitted comments in opposition to the proposed housing policy amendment -- and it was withdrawn. But now it's back! Should the policy be enacted, families receiving Ryan White housing assistance will begin to lose their housing on March 26, 2010 based on this policy--UNLESS WE TAKE ACTION TODAY AND TOMORROW.
Take Action: 1) Call the Capitol switchboard at (202)224-3121 and ask for your Representative's office. Please do not contact Representative DeLauro unless she is in fact your legislator. Need to know who your Representative is? Click here: Ask for the housing staffer. Request that they ask your Representative to co-sign the HRSA Policy letter led by Congresswoman Rosa L. DeLauro(D-CT-3) calling on Secretary Sebelius to reconsider this amendment. Contact information for the staffer is set out in the "Dear Colleague" letter from Rep. DeLauro below:

HRSA HIV/AIDS Bureau (HAB) Policy Amendment Letter
Contact: Meghan Whealan-
From the desk of honorable Congresswoman Rosa L. DeLauro
Dear Colleague,I urge you to join me in a letter to Secretary Sebelius expressing our concern for a policy that would limit the ability of affordable, stable housing for those living with HIV/AIDS. Under the policy notice, published in February 2008 with an effective date of March 27, 2008, persons receiving Ryan White housing on that date will lose their housing assistance on March 26, 2010.For people coping with the affects of HIV/AIDS, stable housing is central to their ability to manage their disease and has a direct impact on their improved medical care. Housing status is one of the strongest predictors of health outcomes for People Living with HIV/AIDS. It is a more significant predictor than individual characteristics such as demographics, drug and alcohol use, and receipt of social services. Over time, access to housing enables access to care and the ability to stay in care-entry into HIV care, primary care visits, continuous care, and care that meets clinical practice standards.I hope you will consider joining me in this important letter.
For more information or to sign on, please contact Meghan Whealan on my staff at 5-3661 or by December 10, 2009.
Sincerely,Rosa L. DeLauro,
Member of Congress

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