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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, February 22, 2013 - Volume 41 Issue 8
Shanti program closing - Lack of funds cited in decision to end volunteer support group
Section One
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Shanti program closing - Lack of funds cited in decision to end volunteer support group

by Shaun Knittel - SGN Associate Editor

Rosehedge/Multifaith Works, an organization that for 25 years has provided housing and support programs for people living with HIV/AIDS, multiple sclerosis, and other life-challenging illnesses, announced this week the elimination of the Shanti emotional support program, effective March 31.

The Rosehedge board of directors said it made the difficult decision after learning of the loss of $600,000 in 2013 state and federal funding.

THIRTY-YEAR RUN
Since 1983, Shanti has provided emotional support to thousands of people, matching well-trained volunteers with those who are isolated, vulnerable, and in need of confidential, one-on-one, nonjudgmental support.

Shanti volunteers who are especially skilled at sitting with individuals at the end-of-life stage make weekly visits to residents at Bailey-Boushay House, a skilled nursing facility.

The group also runs a prison program, with volunteers providing support to inmates at the King County Correctional Facility, the Monroe State Penitentiary, and the Womens Correctional Facility at Purdy.

The Shanti program staff is actively seeking a new fiscal agent and will be working with volunteers and community leaders to explore all options for the programs future and fiscal sustainability.

A PAINFUL DECISION
This decision was incredibly painful for the organization - Shanti is one of Seattles original HIV/AIDS programs, said Lauren Simonds, executive director of Rosehedge/Multifaith Works. Funding for HIV/AIDS programs is changing and will continue to do so as the medical treatment of patients evolves. Rosehedge/Multifaith Works will, of course, evolve as well. Our staff and board remain firmly committed to the work we do in the community and the individuals we are here to help.

Rosehedge/Multifaith Works serves men and women living with HIV/AIDS who also struggle with chemical dependency and mental health issues by providing housing, compassionate health care, and support services that enhance the quality of their lives. Its programs include Enhanced Assisted Living Adult Family Homes with 24-hour care, Transitional Housing, practical and emotional support services through CareTeams, and SHIFT, a substance abuse peer-recovery coach network.

Word of Shantis closing came just days after the nations oldest AIDS advocacy group, the Washington, D.C.-based National Association of People With AIDS, announced it had ceased operations and filed for bankruptcy.

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