My Nonprofit Reviews
Review for Project Open Hand, San Francisco, CA, USA
I have been a happy client of POH for two years with no issues and it was a service which was tremendously beneficial to my health and I'm grateful for that support. Sadly I cannot say the same going forward. POH has embarked on very restrictive new guidelines as of July 2014 designed to greatly reduce their client base. I am a victim of these guidelines. Even though I have HIV and HepC and several other conditions including mental health issues, I was declined renewal. I was denied an appeals process and told by counselors that POH is "not an HIV services organization"; "that my receiving continued services might deny service to someone who was really sick"; that "sacrifices had to be made"; and in regard to my financial circumstances "we are not interested in that". It was cold, uncaring and wounded me greatly. I'm not working, my SSI case is pending and therefore I have no income other than odd jobs. POH has been my main food source and thanks to these new guidelines and callous attitudes I will now be food insecure which will undoubtedly take a toll on my health. I was given what they are calling "assistance in transition" which amounted to nothing more than hastily printed info on other food pantries in SF. I don't qualify for 95% of these due to either age, ethnic or zip code restrictions. Those for which I might qualify have long waiting lists and in certain cases those waiting lists are closed. POH has turned its back on their original Mission to serve and help those with HIV. I'm disgusted, dismayed and very disenchanted. While they are trying to paint these changes as "expanded services, they are anything but. The truth is they are trying to rid themselves of their HIV clients without regard to harming them in the process. It's truly sad to see what was once a great bastion of care for those with HIV turn their backs on that same community in solely because they believe there is more money in other diseases. I have no idea where my nutrition will come from going forward. Thanks POH for help in the past. Going forward I have no reason to support you any longer.
We have a responsibility to our community to adapt our services to continue to serve those who need us the most - neighbors with critical illness who can benefit the most from the nutritious, life-sustaining meals that Project Open Hand makes. While we will continue to serve people living with HIV?AIDS, who have acute symptoms, we have a responsibility to serve people with other serious illnesses who can benefit from good nutrition. Continually making best use of our resources is critical to the sustainability of our agency - to ensure we are here for another 30 years. By continuing to expand who we serve, we are able to access new funding opportunities, which can strengthen our agency. This ultimately benefits all of our clients and our entire community. Looking ahead, as our neighbors with HIV continue to age and face a growing number of health challenges, we want to be there and ready to serve them when they need us most. - Maria Stokes, Project Open Hand Communications Director
Rin, Here is a list of food resources and other community services that may be able to assist: http://www.freeprintshop.org/