February 11th, 2010

Housing Works: Shelter From The Storm

With an operating budget of approximately $40 million and more than 400 employees, Housing Works is the largest community-based AIDS service organization in the United States and the nation’s largest minority-controlled AIDS service organization.

header_01Founded in 1990 by Keith Cylar, Charles King, Eric Sawyer and Virginia Shubert, four members of the AIDS activist group called “ACT UP”, it was there vision to serve New York City’s most neglected population which included homeless children and men and women living with HIV and AIDS. It was through the spirit of Keith Cylar and business mind of Charles King that truly brought Housing Works to there forefront of the HIV/AIDS fight in America. 

Over the last 20 years, Housing Works has remained true to its mission of “Ending the twin crises of AIDS and homelessness.” They believed that stable housing was the key to helping HIV positive people live healthy and fulfilling lives and that it would help prevent furthering the spread of the virus. With a commitment to ending the crisis of both homelessness and AIDS, they have provided services such as housing, drug treatment, HIV prevention education, social support and many additional services to over 20,000 low-income and homeless New Yorkers living with HIV/Aids.


Housing Works march in Haiti for men with AIDS

Not only is Housing Works a leading player of change within their community, but they are innovative as well. Along with activism and health services, they entered the world of social enterprise by launching their first Housing Works Thrift Shop in 1992 in the Chelsea section on Manhattan and six years later introduced their used bookstore. Almost 20 years later, their social enterprise grosses nearly $13 million annually.

After the devastating earthquake, Housing Works CEO, Charles King answered the call to Haiti, pledging to assist the ruined nation rebuild by opening up clinics for those with HIV/AIDS and others injured without medical supplies. Charles King’s blog has been instrumental in describing the crisis in Haiti and has prompted other organizations such as Broadway Cares/Equity fight Aids to donate $25,000 to assist in the Housing Works Haiti relief efforts.

You can follow Charles King on his trips to Haiti and learn how to help by checking out his blog: http://www.housingworks.org/blogs/category/charles-king-blogs/

For more information on this organization and their community efforts and to find their locations, please visit: www.housingworks.org.

About the Author

Chanel Auguste
Chanel Auguste attended the “FAME” school Laguardia High School of Performing Arts and went on to receive a degree in PR at Clark Atlanta University.Chanel is currently the Executive Assistant to the President of Thrifts for Housing Works.



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  1. It is good to have this kind of project this time which is very beneficial to many people.

  2. Pretty good post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed reading your blog posts.

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