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.
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Working at AHRC has given me a whole new view into the world of none-profits and harm reduction. It is amazing what gets accomplished in this house and the trust that clients have on this organization. Clients know that whether they need a place to stay, or a place to get treatment, we will do our best to get them to that next step and to support them all the way.
I have the distinct pleasure of being born in the English Avenue community. The opportunity to work with Atlanta Harm Reduction Coalition on their 15th Anniversary gave me insight into the many ways that they are assisting that community in helping people to find housing and get health assistance that most persons are not aware of. The most impressive thing about this organization was the PEOPLE which work and operate this center. They are warm, friendly people who relate extremely well with members of this community. My most memorable moment was when they had a 70 year old female who had some health issues and was homeless. They worked diligently to find her a place to live and also to contact and get her health resources which she really needed. Ms. Gaines put everything else to the side to give this lady her full attention. By the way she had a very heavy case load, but this elderly lady went to the top of the list.
I also attend church in the English Avenue community and several church members volunteer with Atlanta Harm Reduction because of the very positive things that they are making happen. I look forward to working with them in the future and offer volunteer services whenever they call. I have sent several persons who live in that area to them for assistance.