The Mission of the Community AIDS Network is to prevent the further transmission of HIV through education and risk reduction efforts and to provide housing assistance and other services to people already affected by HIV/AIDS.
Community AIDS Network was founded in August 1996 through the merger of Summit AIDS Housing Corporation (SAHC) and the Northeast Ohio Task Force on AIDS (NEOTFA), two long-standing AIDS service organizations.
SAHC began as a collaborative effort of support service providers in the community, who realized the provision of housing was lacking to those in the HIV/AIDS community. The increased life span of persons within the HIV spectrum, and their special housing and supportive service requirements, created the necessity for the group to investigate options and provide shelter to fit this population's unmet needs. At the request of the City of Akron Health Department, the group convened to create this new and much needed organization. In April 1990 the group incorporated and appointed a director to carry out the mission of SAHC.
NEOTFA was established in 1985 in response to the growing AIDS crisis. Its mission was to provide education, prevent transmission, assist those who are infected with HIV and support friends and family of those infected. The merger
of the two organizations into Community AIDS Network was logical as there was no duplication of services and the combined strength could provide better services to clients in the tri-county area through a more seamless service delivery system.
What We Offer
Services are offered in the homes of persons living with HIV/AIDS and include assessment of their condition and the environment, education of the family and client about the disease process and universal precautions, HIV testing, community outreach, and community referrals.
How We Positively Affect The Community
CAN seeks to assist clients to achieve independence and self-actualization. CAN provides services within a three-county area in the state of Ohio: Medina, Portage, and Summit. Community AIDS Network is a very active participant in the Continuum of Care of Akron and Summit County. In addition to participating in the general community meetings, CAN serves on the Support Services, Core, Gaps and Priorities, and the Homeless Management Information System subcommittees of the Continuum of Care.
CAN will be a pilot site for the implementation of the Homeless Management Information System. CAN is a standing member of the Ryan White Consortium and actively participates in the HIV Coordination Group and the HIV Interdisciplinary Team as well as the Summit Portage Regional Advisory Group and the Community HIV Intervention Program. A member of the CAN staff serves on the Board of the Akron Area Pride Collective.
The scope of the undertakings of the organization includes the following:
Housing for the HIV population in the tri-county area was seen as a priority in the late 80's. Micah House opened in February 1992 as an alternative community home. The home was funded through a grant from the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Micah House offers a balanced program of supportive services, which focus on a holistic approach to the diverse problems encountered by those with the disease.
Harmony Place opened in October 1994 as the first Section 811 (Supportive Housing for Persons with Disabilities) facility for families and individuals affected by HIV in the United States. It is funded by a grant from HUD. An array of supportive services are offered to the residents of the facility.
The Shelter Plus Care program was began in 1995, offering housing and supportive services to persons with HIV. This program is a special outreach to the homeless.