Award Recipients - 2002

Jennifer Flynn, Joseph Bostic & Jose F. Capestany, Co-Founders

Voices Of Community Activists & Leaders (VOCAL), formerly known as the New York City AIDS Housing Networks (NYCAHN), is a grassroots community coalition established in 1998 consisting of homeless and formerly homeless people living with HIV/AIDS, nonprofit AIDS hosing providers, and AIDS service organizations.  With the belief that housing is a basic human right, the group’s mission is to empower low-income people living with AIDS to organize their community, including the nonprofits that serve them, to advocate for more and better housing, and sound public policies for New York living with HIV/AIDS.  NYCHAN is committed to ending homelessness and attempts to address the root causes – racial inequality, poverty and social injustice – engaging in bottom up advocacy and community organizing.  NYCAHN is comprised primarily of low-income people living with HIV/AIDS.  
NYCAHN’s POWER (People with AIDS Organizing for Welfare Equal Rights) provides advocacy and community organizing training for low-income New Yorkers living with HIV/AIDS.  Its Human Rights Watch project does outreach at welfare center and participated in a successful lawsuit against the City for failing to provide homeless people with AIDS legally required same-day, medically appropriate emergency housing.  Other successful initiatives include campaigns to increase government funding for housing, the Parolee Human Rights Project fighting for housing and health care for parolees and prisoners with HIV/AIDS, and an oral history project transcribing stories of homeless people living with HIV that are shared with the general public.  NYCAHN also distributes food and clothing and making housing referrals.

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