Published September 8, 2005
Living Room will celebrate its 10th anniversary of helping people with HIV/AIDS to find and maintain affordable housing on Sept. 25 with a celebration at the Cathedral of St. Philip.
A reception and award ceremony will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. in the Great Hall. Preceding the celebration will be an Evensong prayer service at 4 p.m. in the Cathedral sanctuary. Sister Mary Jane Lubinski, OP, the Dominican nun who started Living Room with a wish and a prayer in 1995, will be on hand for the celebration and will be honored with the Founder’s Award.
Living Room got its start when Sister Mary Jane began to see her clients at the AIDS Legal Project become sick and die because they were losing their homes. She now lives in South Africa where she is working with Catholic elementary schools to develop school-based support teams for families affected by HIV/AIDS.
At the awards ceremony, the Regional Commission on Homelessness and the City of Atlanta Office of Grants Management will be honored. Horace Sibley, chair of the Commission, will accept the award on its behalf, while Mary Leslie will accept the award for the Atlanta Office of Grants Management.
The Commission is being honored for its work in establishing the 24/7 Gateway Center as a comprehensive service center for the homeless, for fostering supportive housing, and for leading the effort to end homelessness in metro Atlanta. The Office of Grants and Managements is being honored for providing the leadership, guidance and funding that established a network of HIV-Supportive Housing Programs, including Living Room, to provide housing for homeless and at-risk people living with HIV/AIDS.
There is a $35 ticket charge for the event. Proceeds from the event will be shared between Living Room and Sister Mary Jane’s South African AIDS ministry. The Cathedral of St. Philip is located at 2744 Peachtree Road in Atlanta.
Living Room began under the umbrella of Trinity Community Ministries, a homeless service agency sponsored by Trinity Methodist Church located in downtown Atlanta. By 1999, Living Room’s services had grown to such an extent that Sister Mary Jane was able to obtain independent funding and Living Room was incorporated as a nonprofit corporation.
Since 1995, Living Room has assisted over 7,000 individuals affected by HIV/AIDS.
In 2004, Living Room supported over 200 individuals in its long-term rental program and helped over 300 others find affordable housing.
In addition to its role as central intake for HIV-supportive housing, Living Room also provides emergency assistance for late rent, mortgages and utilities. In 2005, the organization started a new program targeting clients with HIV/AIDS who are also challenged by mental illness, addiction or transgender issues. These hard-to-place clients are now living in specialized residential programs. Clients have private rooms and Living Room is subsidizing their rents.
Living Room works closely with many community partners to help clients find and maintain affordable housing. Among these partners are Jerusalem House, Gift of Grace and other HIV-supportive housing programs. AID Atlanta provides case management to clients in Living Room’s long-term rental assistance programs.
Living Room is housed at the Grady Infectious Disease Program, which is the largest AIDS treatment clinic in Georgia. Living Room is housed rent-free because the medical providers understand that without housing, their patients will soon become ill and could die from the many illnesses associated with HIV/AIDS. Living Room’s services are based on the premise that housing is the foundation on which good health care is built.
For more information call Nick Danna, executive director of Living Room, at (404) 616-6319, or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.