Holidays! Family! World AiDS DAY, Giving Tuesday, International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers - OH MY! It's definitely the BUSIEST time of the year at HIPS!
But it's also a great time to think about what's bringing us joy in our life. HIPS's work is often hard, but creating safe space for growth and healing is always worth it! And, you, our dear supporters, also bring us joy and we are so grateful for you!
Please find some time for yourselves to reflect, relax, and read through our latest news and learn a little more about HIPS staff, programs, and ways to get involved.
Not sure what to get for gifts? We can help - Order HIPS swag for the holidays! Shop Now
We are always thankful for all the support we receive from folks like you this year and every year. Thank you.
-The HIPS team
Feeding Our Family
This time of year is about food, family, and gratitude. For many, HIPS is a place to connect with supportive people in their lives. HIPS thanksgiving meal started as a potluck more than 10 years ago, and has grown into a treasured tradition. While pandemic protocols make it a little harder to enjoy a full family style meal, we think we do pretty well showing our appreciation to everyone who helps make HIPS a great place.
Gender Affirming Hormone Therapy Services
We love to promote our wins for the community and our Gender Affirming Hormone Therapy program is definitely in that category. Despite the restrictions and challenges that the pandemic created, HIPS began this new service in January. It started with a small group of 30 trans and nonbinary folks.
Why Gender Affirming Hormone Therapy at HIPS?
The program came about because our clients asked for it. We were so happy to be able to engage in this expansion of our small clinical services even during a pandemic! 18 of the participants are HIPS drop-in clients and the remaining 12 heard about the HIPS program through word of mouth. Once introduced, they can take advantage of other services HIPS offers, if they choose. 11 of those that started on Gender Affirming Hormone Therapy are also enrolled in our non-medical case management program for HIV + individuals led by Ms. Earline Bud. Additionally, we've relinked 18 people that were out of HIV care back to care in the last year and began treating one new positive. To make things as accessible as possible we offer telephone and in person visits.
HIPS new staff members Michelle Spikes and FNU Imani play a huge part in the program’s success. Working as guides that have been through the experience themselves, they can best shape the program based on actual and anticipated needs of Gender Affirming Hormone Therapy participants. Beyond being invaluable listeners, Michelle and Imani help with things like insurance navigation, links to resources like food banks or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) for food insecurity, or housing and utility assistance, and perhaps most essential, they teach clients how to advocate for themselves.
HIPS is uniquely qualified to create the necessary environment of community and care that makes clients want to seek Gender Affirming Hormone services and address other health concerns once they feel comfortable. We are currently exploring ways to expand the program next year.
Welcome to New Staff Member
Shah Mahmood Musakhil
HIPStar Shareese Mone