Local LGBTQ health organizations get a financial boost


CHECK, PLEASE!: LBGT-specific HIV agencies across the area were recently awarded thousands of dollars from two different contributors. Coca-Cola (left) presented Action Wellness PHL Executive Director Kevin Burns with a $25,000 check Feb. 7 at its Arch Street location. Later that day, Philly AIDS Thrift handed out 23 checks totaling $246,000 to organizations across the tristate area. As the 20th check was presented, there was a pause to announce that total PAT distributions since the organization’s inception hit the $2.5-million mark. More information on the nonprofits can be found at actionwellness.org and phillyaidsthrift.com.

Photos: Scott A. Drake


Two Philadelphia organizations that help members of the LGBTQ community with needed healthcare have gotten financial boosts to help them fulfill their missions.

Mazzoni Center received $15,000 from Philly AIDS Thrift to support its community outreach program, The Trip Project.

Program coordinator Christiawn Wilson said The Trip Project will try to reach even more “priority individuals throughout Philadelphia.”

“This $15,000 grant from Philly AIDS Thrift will allow us to make a significant positive impact on men who have sex with men and trans-identified people of color in the ballroom scene, video-gamer community, collegiate/black fraternities and the performing arts,” Wilson said.

The Trip Project tries to reduce the impact of HIV by producing unique cultural events and activities that foster self-empowerment and promote affirming leadership.

Specifically, the money will go toward hiring an intern who will spend a year conducting targeted outreach and helping HIV-positive and high-risk individuals get care from staff, or link them to other local resources and services.

Philadelphia AIDS Thrift sells items donated to its stores and gives the profits to local organizations involved in the fight against HIV/AIDS.

“Projects that target underserved, at-risk populations are what excites us most, and The Trip Project is exactly that,” said Michael Byrne, Philly AIDS Thrift board president and grant chair. MSM and trans-identified people of color are grossly underserved and at a higher risk of contracting HIV. We are thrilled Mazzoni is doing the work and humbled that we can help.”

Mazzoni Center is Philadelphia’s largest health center, focused on providing comprehensive health and wellness services to the LGBTQ community.

The other grant beneficiary is Einstein Medical Center’s Pride Program, which is receiving $25,000 from The Philadelphia Foundation. The grant will help pay for behavioral health and wellness services for LGBTQIA+ identified individuals and their partners and families. The services include short- and long-term outpatient therapy, medication management and psychological assessments.

Einstein’s Pride Program has been growing over the past few years, both in the number of patients treated and scope of services offered. The program now includes a gender clinic, trans surgical services, patient navigation, family medicine and outreach, education and training.

The Philadelphia Foundation manages more than 900 charitable funds established by donors and distributes more than 1,000 grants and scholarship awards each year. The specific funds supporting the Einstein grant are Walter E. Hering Fund No. 2, to assist the sick and encourage homeopathic science, and William J. McCahan 3rd, to support general charitable purposes.

“There is an urgent need in the LGBTQIA+ community for behavioral-health services and this grant will help us reach and care for more people,” said Darius McLean, patient navigator for the Pride Program.”