The Rapidian

The Michigan AIDS Coalition

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Additional information about the Clean Works program

http://therapidian.org/clean-works

/MAC

 


In 1989 a group of committed leaders and the Council of Michigan Foundations came together to form the Michigan AIDS Fund (MAF) in response to the devastating AIDS crisis. Its creators were philanthropic leaders who rallied the state’s grant makers to address the AIDS epidemic across Michigan. In 1993, MAF officially incorporated as a separate charitable supporting organization to CMF. MAF serves as a statewide funding resource that supports community-based AIDS organizations in Michigan by pooling funds from individual donors, foundations and corporations, awarding over 12 million since its inception.

 

 

Along with the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Research has led to medications that now hold AIDS at bay for those infected with HIV, but a cure is still years away. HIV prevention efforts have been the most effective method of preventing the spread of HIV. In 2005, the MAF refined its mission to focus exclusively on HIV prevention in Michigan, where its expertise and resources can have the greatest impact.

 

 

The Midwest AIDS Prevention Project (MAPP) was founded in 1988 by a group of four individuals who had been organizing and conducting AIDS prevention workshops for the Special Office on AIDS Prevention at the Michigan Department of Public Health. The original outreach workers had developed programs based on models from the Gay Men’s Health Crisis in New York. MAPP initially targeted gay and bisexual men as well as college students across the Midwest. By the early 1990s, MAPP had implemented hundreds of programs that reached tens of thousands of people across Michigan, Indiana and northwest Ohio.

 

 

On February 1, 2009 the MAF and the MAPP merged to become the Michigan AIDS Coalition (MAC). The merger was a result of a plan that individuals on both the MAF and MAPP strongly believed will best serve the people of Michigan. MAC is one of Michigan’s largest non-profit, community-based organizations dedicated to health promotion, harm and risk reduction, HIV and sexually transmitted disease prevention education, grant making and public policy. MAF and MAPP bring more than 30 years combined experience in HIV/AIDS advocacy, education and outreach to the newly formed MAC.

 

 

 

This year the MAC awarded two programmatic grants to the Grand Rapids Red Project. The first grant award of $20,000 is for Red Project’s Clean Works needle exchange program that is conducted at Heartside Ministries in downtown Grand Rapids. The second $2,500 grant is to help serve the Grand Rapids transgender population with a support group and better access to testing and counseling services.

 

 

 

On Wednesday, December 8th the MAC hosted their annual “Friends of the Fund Reception” in Ferndale, Michigan. This reception featured an awards ceremony where members of the Clean Works program received recognition for the grant awards. Additionally, Clean Works volunteer Leah Baker was given the “Volunteer of the Year” award.

 

 

 

“I am always ready to do whatever I need to do at Clean Works, and feel a bit surprised to be ‘volunteer of the year’ because I really just do what I think needs to be done at the [needle] exchange”, Baker stated. 

 

 

 

Baker describes Clean Works as very important to the community because it provides a safe, judgment free place for program participants to come and get supplies, information, a cup of coffee, and someone to talk to. She believes everyone is entitled to be happy and healthy, and that the services Clean Works offers allows people to better care for themselves and their friends, even to the point of saving lives.

 

 

 

“This is something I feel is extremely empowering”, Baker said. 

 

 

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