The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development presented Cornerstone Services in Joliet a grant Tuesday worth more than $850,000 to help those living with HIV and AIDS get housing and services.
The grant is part of HUD’s Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS Program to assist more than 2,000 low-income people living with HIV and AIDS and their families over a three-year period. HUD is distributing more than $25 million in grants to social service agencies in about 20 communities nationwide through the program.
In his remarks Tuesday, Joseph P. Galvan, the Midwest regional administrator for HUD, referenced President Donald Trump’s comments during the State of the Union address earlier this year, in which he said his administration was working to eliminate HIV and AIDS within a 10-year period.
“We’re making sure that people have a roof over their head,” Galvan said.
Galvan said making sure people with HIV and AIDS, especially those with a family of their own, are able to attain stable housing is a priority. He said research shows people who have stable housing see better health outcomes than those who don’t.
Housing also helps reduce transmission of the disease.
Ben Stortz, the chief executive officer of Cornerstone Services, said the grant will go toward rental assistance and supportive services for the 16 affected people the Joliet agency serves.
Those supportive services include case management, mental health services, substance abuse services and employment training. Stortz also praised Cornerstone staff, who work with clients every day.
“Our team of compassionate professionals are dedicated to making sure individuals in this program are receiving the essential services they need,” Stortz said. “This grant ensures we can continue to serve people who depend on us.”
Cornerstone Services was founded in 1969, and provides services for people with disabilities in Will and Kankakee counties.
This year, more than 1,100 people with disabilities depend on the agency daily for assistance.
About 85% of Cornerstone’s revenue comes from the state government, with 9% coming from the federal government, 4% from miscellaneous sources and about 2% from fundraising.
HUD’s HOPWA program provides supportive leadership and resources, a news release said.