Amethyst Women's Project, Inc.

Award Recipients - 2001

Aida Leon, Founder and Director

Aida Leon is the founder of the Amethyst Women’s Project (AWP), a crisis intervention and referral program serving primarily women affected by the disease of addiction and at risk for exposure to HIV infection.  Located in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Coney Island, AWP is the only direct social service program in the area.  It seeks to empower women and their families to deal with substance abuse and HIV/AIDS and to improve the quality of life in the community.  AWP realizes its objectives through street outreach, community organizing, individual assessments, referrals and follow-up, leadership development, educational workshops and public events.  Outreach workers live in the neighborhood, have experienced drug addiction and are trained as HIV educators.
AWP conducts daily crisis intervention and outreach into the community targeting women with the disease of substance abuse in HIV/AIDS.  The strategy is to deal with the addiction first and then address other issues such as untreated HIV infection, homelessness, poor education, lost custody of children, and legal problems.  Outreach workers distribute prophylactics, information in English Spanish and Russian about addiction and HIV prevention.  At AWP, a certified clinician assists in making the initial screening and referrals to appropriate detoxification treatment and support programs.

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