The New York City Aids Housing

Decent Essays
INTRODUCTION “Everyone practices harm reduction, whether they see it or not. When you put on a seat belt…You are practicing harm reduction,” said Evelyn Milan pointedly as we started our interview. Evelyn works for Vocal-NY which is, at its base, an Advocacy organization for those who have a history of AIDS. Vocal-NY was once New York City AIDS Housing Network. Their formation was at a time when addressing root causes like homelessness and poverty was going out of style and incrimination was becoming the focus. Vocal-NY’s mission has remained true to the original intent. The original focus was on progressive housing that assured that all people living with AIDS could find affordable homes. Their advocacy has come out of this and focuses on assuring that affordable housing is a focus of the state and city administration. Evelyn’s role is as the Director of Services. Vocal-NY provides this direct service through grant funding and private donations, with the intent of assuring that those who aren’t prepared or willing to stop their drug use have access to clean syringes. With the risks associated with sharing or reusing needles, this helps prevent the spread of diseases. One of Evelyn’s most poignant statements exemplifies this: “Dead addicts don’t recover.” This is one of the most basic tenants of harm reduction, assuring the person has the capability to make the best choices. I chose Evelyn because I think that the provision of this service inside of an
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