WHAT IS RESIDENTIAL?
The Residential program provides 103 apartment units at seven sites located throughout the City of St. Louis, which are home to more than 200 people, of which more than a third were children. The Residential program serves people affected by HIV/AIDS who are capable of independent living, but whose financial and health issues limit their ability to pay fair market rent. Many of the individuals and families in the DOORWAYS Residential Program have faced a history of poverty and trauma from violence or abuse. Many came from neighborhoods plagued by drugs and other illegal activity. Living in Residential Facilities provides our clients the ability to live in an affordable safe place where they can be healthy and safe.
While the majority of Residential clients are single-person households, a significant portion are families with children. DOORWAYS’ response to the needs of families is represented by Mama Nyumba (Swahili for “my mother’s house”) and Kaya Malaika (Swahili for “village of little angels”), two residential complexes that together comprise DOORWAYS’ Family Residential Program. Built between 2000 and 2003, the Mama/Kaya complex is one of the few AIDS-housing developments in the nation specifically designed to meet the needs of single parents. Two buildings adjacent to one another provide 29 units of varying sizes to families and their children. An enclosed courtyard provides a place for children’s recreation, and there are community rooms available for counseling and workshops and a Learning Center with computers, a television and educational books, tapes and toys. The complex was designed with the capacity to provide supportive educational services and a base from which families could be referred to medical care and social services.
WHY IS RESIDENTIAL IMPORTANT?
Nearly two-thirds of women with HIV/AIDS have annual incomes below $10,000 a year; 76% of them have children under age 18. Nationally, the vast majority of people living with HIV/AIDS rely on Medicaid for healthcare coverage which means they must earn a low income to be eligible. This means, the majority of men and women living with HIV/AIDS have extremely low income. Upon arrival into our program in 2014, only 24 had any income with the highest being $1,683 a month for a 6 member family. The Residential program allows individuals and families affected by HIV to focus on other aspects of their life such as health concerns or childcare instead of choosing between rent payment and buying food or medication.
*Certain project costs have been underwritten by the Missouri Department of Economic Development, Neighborhood Assistance Program.