Wichita, Kan., AIDS housing project to close

By Advocate.com Editors

Originally published on Advocate.com December 11 2002 1:00 AM ET

A Wichita, Kan., housing project for people with AIDS will close at the end of December because of the high costs of maintaining the facility and the changing nature of HIV disease, The Wichita Eagle reports. "We were losing money hand over fist," said Joe Kelly, executive director of ConnectCare, the HIV/AIDS service organization that runs the facility. The house opened in the late 1980s to serve as a hospice for people with advanced HIV disease. But with the advent of antiretroviral drugs, people with HIV are living longer and typically do not need the end-of-life care the facility was designed to meet. And because the residence is licensed as an assisted-living facility, it must be staffed 24 hours a day with nurses and other caregivers to offer services that the house residents no longer regularly need. Today, the house typically serves homeless people with AIDS who need temporary housing while they find jobs or secure other living arrangements. Other ConnectCare services at the residence, including a food pantry, a drop-in center, and case management services, will continue after the living quarters are closed on December 31.