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After Hours Project

Award Recipients - 2003

Fernando Soto, Co-Founder & Executive Director

www.afterhoursproject.org

The After Hours Project (TAHP) is a community-based HIV/AIDS prevention program in Bushwick, Brooklyn that uniquely provides service to injection drugs users, sex workers, and homeless people after the hours of 5 p.m.  It uses a harm reduction approach in decreasing HIV transmission and linking participants with educational, risk-reduction, support and treatment services.


TAHP emerged in 2001 to address the dramatic increase in HIV/AIDS in Brooklyn’s low-income communities.  Volunteers go out at night between the hours of 6 p.m. to 12 a.m.  They drive throughout targeted neighborhoods stopping at streets, crack houses and other locations to distribute food, HIV prevention/education information and condoms, and they disperse clean needles as needed.  When an individual expresses interest in detoxing, TAHP volunteers call service providers right on the spot and drive the person to the program.  TAHP has developed linkage agreements with community organizations, drug treatment facilities and area hospitals that allow TAHP to refer clients to fast-track quality care and services.  In 2003, TAHP formalized an agreement with Wyckoff Heights Medical Center to allow TAHP to operate as an Expanded Syringe Access Program.

Other TAHP components include intake and needs assessment and referrals to health, substance abuse treatment, mental health, HIV counseling and testing and other social services.  Outreach teams report a high volume of interaction with clients every night.


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