In 2014, Amida Care of New York City partnered with Housing Works and The Alliance for Positive Change to launch the Workforce Initiative Network (WIN). The program was designed to give Amida Care members marketable job skills by completing a six- to seven-week training program at either Housing Works or The Alliance. The program taught member HIV/AIDS education, resume building and basic computer skills. Program graduates return to the workforce equipped with the skills to fulfill the roles of health navigators, administrative assistants or community health outreach workers. As of summer 2019, 90 Amida Care members have graduated, and 38 have received placement at Amida Care, The Alliance, Housing Works, and other community-based organizations in Community Health Outreach Worker work positions. Amida Care pays for WIN with plan administrative funding.
EUGENE: Positive Change through Peer Training
Growing up, Eugene found new challenges around every corner. He watched his mother sell drugs from their home, lost family members to AIDS, and was sent to foster care after a drug raid. He acted out, committing crimes that landed him in prison. After his release, Eugene became very ill, and a test showed that he had HIV.
He enrolled in an eight-week Peer Recovery Education Program. “The Peer program changed my life,” says Eugene. “I was able to put the streets away. I learned how to use coping mechanisms, and I became more confident and less judgmental.” During his paid Peer Internship, Eugene headed to high-risk communities across NYC, talking to people about the importance of knowing their HIV status and connecting to care. “I learned how to be myself, express ideas, and use my swagger to end the HIV epidemic!” he says. Within a year, the Alliance hired Eugene as a Training Coordinator. He is living proof that positive change can happen.
Read more WIN success stories HERE.
Learn More: Where Education, Employment and Health Meet