Harlem United’s 2016 Year In Review
It’s been a busy year at Harlem United! Across the agency, our staff, Board members, clients, and volunteers worked hard to create one community of hope, health, and healing.
From promoting life-saving technologies like PrEP and naloxone to advocating for policy change; from expanding our range of services to providing our clients with job training; and from registering people to vote to celebrating Pride in our own backyard; Harlem United has been active and engaged with our communities throughout the year.
Harlem United works hard every day to help thousands of New Yorkers, but a few moments stand out as our favorites of 2016. Here’s a list of some of our most memorable achievements from the past year.
Our Harm Reduction team led the development of naloxone training programs in East Harlem and Coney Island, two neighborhoods devastated by accidental opiate overdose fatalities. We created implementation plans to train as many individuals as possible who may witness an overdose in those neighborhoods.
We celebrated Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s groundbreaking regulations banning discrimination and harassment against transgender people. Harlem United proudly serves clients of many different gender identities and expressions and welcomed the governor’s commitment to protecting transgender New Yorkers.
Our evaluation team presented exciting news about our Viral Load Suppression Project. Our health providers improved our clients’ viral load suppression rate by 15% clinic-wide, from 58 to 73%. Viral suppression is not only important to the health and well-being of people living with HIV, but also significantly reduces the risk of transmission.
We presented at the AIDS Institute about Positive Housing for All, our program that provides housing and financial assistance to people with HIV/AIDS who are not eligible for benefits through HASA (HIV/AIDS Services Administration). Harlem United successfully enrolled and housed 37 clients in PHA and will continue to connect people with HIV/AIDS to supportive housing through the program.
We hosted the first-ever Boulevard Bash, a celebration of Harlem United’s work and of the Harlem community, at the historic Riverside Church. Hosted by model Carmen Carrera, the event honored Bevy Smith and Patrick McGovern, featured an inspirational message from our CEO Jacqui Kilmer, and raised more than $177,000 for Harlem United.
For the first time, we began offering pediatric medical services! Services for babies, children and adolescents are now offered out of The Nest, our newest community health center at 169 W. 133rd St., in addition to the other medical and dental services available there.
We launched our Veterans Housing program, opening 93 units in a beautiful building on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. The program is operated in partnership with Bailey House and includes onsite case management personnel to help residents access social and health services.
In honor of Hepatitis Awareness Month, Harlem United clients and staff gathered at the steps of the New York City Hall for a demonstration. There, they had the opportunity to speak with other community members and activists about the importance of hepatitis awareness.
The second-annual Harlem One-Miler brought twice as many participants as last year, including special guests Spike Lee and Ida Keeling. More than 500 runners participated, raising more than $14,000 for Harlem United.
We continued our long-standing tradition of participating in the New York City Pride March, raising awareness about our work, including our Swallow This campaign, and enjoying a fun summer day with clients and staff.
We proudly graduated a group of clients who earned their Vocational Education certificates. Through our Voc Ed training program, clients learn valuable job skills and become eligible to work with Harlem United as peers.
We rang in the new school year with a school supply giveaway and open house at The Nest, our newest health center. Parents and kids were treated to snacks, music, and a meet-and-greet with The Nest’s medical and dental staff. School-age children also took home free backpacks full of school supplies.
On National Voter Registration Day, we held a voter registration drive outside our administrative offices and informed members of the community about their voting rights. More than 150 Harlem and Bronx residents registered to vote. We also brought a group of clients to watch the first presidential debate and attend a panel discussion about the election at the historic Apollo Theater.
We opened a new mental health clinic at The Nest, which increased our capacity to provide mental health care, integrated with our full suite of medical and dental services all in one location.
We launched Issues That Matter, a campaign educating voters about the presidential candidates’ stances on six key health equity issues: healthcare, housing, mental health, substance use, HIV/AIDS, and LGBT equality.
Our New York City TCS Marathon team ran an amazing 26.2 miles on behalf of Harlem United, raising more than $30,000 for the agency. We also began recruiting team members to run with Harlem United at next year’s New York City Half Marathon.
The second-ever Harlem Turkey Trot was a huge success, bringing together more than 100 people for a fun Thanksgiving Day run. The event was free and available to people of all ages and abilities, and it gave us another opportunity to celebrate health and fitness with our community partner Harlem Run.
On World AIDS Day, we joined with other HIV/AIDS and housing organizations to commemorate the New York City AIDS Memorial. One of our clients, Sean (pictured right), participated in the official program by reading onstage names of those lost to AIDS.
We launched a second round of Swallow This, our award-winning campaign promoting PrEP use and awareness. We expanded the campaign to reach out to women, both cisgender and transgender; created a series of informational videos about PrEP; and expanded our iconic ads to include more faces.
From the Harlem United family, we thank you for a memorable year and wish you a warm, healthy holiday season!