Very sad news to report. We learned through the grapevine earlier today that Rosehedge/Multifaith Works would shut down by December 31, 2013. And, the non-profit confirmed that news this afternoon with an official announcement that the HIV/AIDS support services provider will cease operations at that time. Funding shortfalls and the changing face of HIV/AIDS healthcare both contributed to the closure. The group will also need to raise $75,000 by the end of the year to transition their 32 residents to new homes.
From the announcement originally posted on the Rosehedge Multifaith Works Facebook page and their website:
Nonprofit Rosehedge/Multifaith Works will end operations by year’s end
$75,000 needed between now and Dec. 31 to transition residents to new homes
Rosehedge/Multifaith Works, a Seattle nonprofit organization that has provided housing and support services to people living with HIV/AIDS for 25 years, today announced that it will close its doors by the end of 2013. The agency is hard at work finding new homes for every one of its 32 residents.
“We are committed to ensuring that our residents will have a smooth transition to new housing and services over the coming few months,” said Rosehedge/Multifaith Works Executive Director Lauren Simonds.
Simonds pointed to the changing evolution of health care and housing models as well as the challenges in raising funds for small nonprofits like Rosehedge/Multifaith Works as an impetus for the closure.
“Despite our very best efforts over the past few years to raise enough money to support the unique model of housing and care we provide to people with HIV/AIDS, revenues have fallen short,” she said. “Since the beginning of 2013, government support has been cut by more than $600,000 and foundation and corporate support has been cut in half,” Simonds explained. “Many funders no longer see HIV/AIDS as the pressing concern it once was.
“Our Board of Directors examined every possible solution to allow us to continue our long history of service to people living with HIV/AIDS,” concluded Board President Paul Binder. “Ultimately, our most realistic and responsible course was to decide that we must close the agency and find new homes and services for our residents.”
The reality of HIV/AIDS has changed over the past 25 years since Rosehedge/Multifaith Works was founded. The agency came into being to provide homes, compassionate and caring health care, and a diverse community to support those who were dying – allowing them to die with dignity, surrounded by people who loved them. As medical treatments improved and HIV/AIDS transitioned into a treatable, chronic illness, the organization continued to provide stable housing, 24-hour health care and support services for the most vulnerable individuals.
“We are honored to have walked with so many men and women whose memories continue to live within us,” said long-time Board member Vince Larkin. “We learned lessons about how a community can respond in crisis, that when we reach out to support another we experience ourselves supported. We are so proud of the work Rosehedge/Multifaith Works has done in the Seattle community and beyond.”
Rosehedge/Multifaith Works will continue to rely on the generosity of its donors to support its operations through the end of the year. The agency needs to raise $75,000 to fund residents’ housing needs and to facilitate their transition to new homes. Any funds remaining upon the agency’s closure will be donated to an HIV/AIDS organization which shares the organization’s values and mission. To learn more or to make a tax-deductible donation, go to www.rosehedge.org.
If you have the resources, please donate to them.
And, regardless of your resources, offer a toast to an organization that has provided so much to the community.
Also, two things to note. Improved treatments in HIV/AIDS could mean that there is less need for the services provided by non-profits like Rosehedge/Multifaith Works. But, there are always people who fall through the cracks of social welfare and need to be safely and humanely treated. We hope there are still nets out there for those people. And, it’s a sad day when you lose one of those nets, regardless of its size.