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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Health, Public Health

Mission: Atlanta Harm Reduction Coalition, Inc. is a community-based wellness organization committed to improving the overall health and wellbeing of marginalized individuals and communities.  AHRC provides education, risk reduction programs through partnerships, to empower adults in prevention, diagnosis and treatment of; substance use, HIV/AIDS, STIs, Hepatitis, and other communicable diseases. 

Geographic areas served: Metro Atlanta

Programs: For ending year, december 31, 2014, ahrc operated the following programs:(i)hiv testing and linkage program: ahrc provides hiv testing, counseling, and linkage to care to individuals that reside in fulton and dekalb county. Ahrc is particularly dedicated to serving individuals that engage in high-risk behaviors such as substance use, sex work, and homelessness. Ahrc wants to specifically enhance hiv-positive individuals linkage to care, provide risk-reduction education, create a safe support group and offer intensive one-on-one case management services by a trained staff. During the one-on-one case management sessions, ahrc will assess the client's full range of needs and then link them to care and services from within ahrc's partnership network. This goes beyond referrals. The ahrc case manager will work with the clients to address barriers to utilization that interfere with that person accessing services such as lack of transportation, economic hardships, improper documentation and other obstacles that the trained and experienced case manager can effectively navigate. (ii)prevention point: ahrcs prevention point needle exchange program is designed for high-risk persons impacted by substance addiction, especially african americans who are disproportionately impacted by hiv and communicable diseases. This program targets active substance and sex workers on the corners of james p. Brawley and jett streets in northwest atlanta, an area where members of the target population congregate. The program goals are to reduce the harm of transmission of hiv/aids, hepatitis c through education, prevention intervention (condom and literature distribution) and other resources that plant the seeds toward behavior change. The proposed efforts will support the organization to address the syringe exchange and health promotion needs of idu, sex workers who use drugs, alcoholics and those re-entering from prison/jail who revert to old behaviors. (iii)advocacy: ahrcs advocacy project is to pursue "specific" policy improvements or law reform to protect and advance the rights, health, and dignity of persons living with and affected by hiv/aids. Also, the advocacy project has developed a speaker network which helps educate policy makers. (iv) 911 medical amnesty law and naloxone access program: after the former 2014 hb 965 was signed into law [o. C. G. A. 16-13-5] on april 24, 2014, ahrc has been educating the public about the 911 medical amnesty [or 911 good samaritan] law and distributing naloxone kits for reversing opioid overdoses to those in need. (v) hepatitis c prevention program: hepatitis c prevention program is a comprehensive program that aims at prevention and treatment of hcv through offering guidelines to individuals in identifying their hepatitis c status, providing education and helping in facilitate behavior changes that will reduce their risk of acquiring or transmitting the hepatitis c virus, and providing support groups and linkage to care for hepatitis c positive individuals.

Community Stories

5 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have been HIV Positive for almost 23 years. I come and volunteer there at the center ever year. I enjoy working with the staff and the clients. I met Jeff on a conference and he invited me down there to see how there program works. I was employed with Prevention Works Needle Exchange Program for 12 years until we closed in Feb, 2011. They have a really good program down there in ATL.

9

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

This organization truly helps those who need it the most. Jeff, Mona and the entire staff of AHRC are caring, compassionate individuals who care for this population and the services they provide. This agency helps so many people in so many different ways and in this day and age its good to see money going directly to the people who need it and people working passionately to help others.

13

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have had the distinct pleasure of volunteering with AHRC as a graduate student researching addiction. This organization provides critical services to the Atlanta community. AHRC is uniquely capable in its mission to service consumers who require a higher level of care and follow through with linkage to inpatient or outpatient medical, substance abuse treatment or transitional facilities. AHRC has the experience and expertise through strategic partnerships and should be seen as the model for harm reduction work in the region.

5

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

By working at an AIDS service organization in Atlanta, I have had the pleasure of working with AHRC on several collaborations. I first began working with the AHRC when they became a member of my capacity building project designed for local community based organizations to enhance their overall infrastructure, so that we all can be “stronger together”. They were very supportive and attended the majority of our events such as our Case Management training. Also, I had the opportunity to assist with HIV testing and counseling at the AHRC with one of their major community events. During the testing and counseling process, they were very supportive and provided assistance when needed. In addition, at one of our staff trainings, staff members from the AHRC presented a Harm Reduction training to the entire staff. The training was very informative and gave me a better sense of the benefits and impacts of harm reduction. I have enjoyed thoroughly working with the AHRC! I look forward to continuing to work with AHRC in the near future.

11

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I became acquainted with AHRC when they served the English Avenue area known as the Bluff but were temporarily housed in a Candler Park church. I was a sociology graduate student working on my dissertation on heroin users. About than ten years later, as a professor with a research grant, I contacted AHRC in their new home and we collaborated in research goals to better understand the lives of older drug users and the barriers to health care and social services faced by their clients. I was pleased to see the expansion of their work. While AHRC started with an SEP focus, currently they offer a tiered program that goes well beyond syringe exchanges. Activities include sponsoring women’s groups, men’s groups, testing and counseling for HIV, TB and syphilis. The staff provides food, showers and clean clothing at the building, and delivers food as outreach to home-bound neighbors. On request, AHRC staff provides referrals to substance abuse treatment, medical services and methadone providers. In an effort to fulfill their mission statement to improve the wellbeing of marginalized individuals, AHRC staff is working hard to provide linkage to employment and housing. The unique approach of the AHRC staff in assuring the inclusion, participation, and rights of the most marginalized of citizens—destitute and homeless drug users—is worth our attention and support. Their community-based prevention and wellness intervention contributes to our united goal of meaningfully addressing contemporary social problems.