Francis House to Merge with ASAP
Francis House and ASAP, a Clearwater AIDS Service Organization, are joining forces. We have signed an initial memorandum of understanding and plan to operate as a member of Empath Health, a Clearwater-based care network.
The Francis House-ASAP merger brings together service providers on both sides of Tampa Bay, each with their own set of unique services, sad Rafael Sciullo, president and CEO of Empath Health.
Both the Francis House and ASAP campuses will continue to provide services to clients, uninterrupted.
Francis House is committed to providing HIV supportive services in a safe environment designed to encourage and empower those affected to become self-sufficient members of our community. Our services are designed to teach clients effective skills for making more appropriate life choices while exercising responsibility for their own decisions and actions. Francis House uses a holistic approach to improve client's quality of life by offering comprehensive services, both onsite and in collaboration with other community-based organizations.
Onsite mechanisms for program delivery include housing and medical case management, mental health and substance abuse counseling, emergency support, nutritional services, transportation assistance, and recreational therapy. Case managers and counselors work hand-in-hand to identify and assist clients who might otherwise fall through the gaps in the community’s safety net, with individual and family counseling sessions offered daily and during the evening hours. Our nutritional programs reinforce the need for proper nourishment to support antiretroviral regimens; in the past 5 years, FH has distributed over $100,000 in food and hygiene items and over $20,000 worth of grocery store vouchers to the local HIV/AIDS community. We have also provided over $90,000 in emergency assistance payments, in one-time allotments of up to $250 for rent, utilities or other quality of life expenses.
Francis House Programs
Francis House is a non-profit, day respite center designed to respond with compassion and justice to the spiritual, emotional, educational, and physical well-being of individuals and families infected, affected and at risk for HIV/AIDS. Francis House is committed to providing the best possible services and strives to enlighten lives with positive change. All services offered are free of charge. Support Groups: Daily support groups offer clients an opportunity to discuss and address a variety of topics, issues and concerns dealing with their HIV status or other life concerns. Emotional Awareness Monday's @ 11am and 2pm Relapse Prevention Tuesday's @ 11am and 2pm Spirituality Wednesday's @ 11am Topic of the Day Thursday's @ 11am and 2pm Spanish Support Group Tuesday's @ 10am Better Together Thursday's @ 7pm Men's Group / Women's Group Friday's @ 11:30am Lunch: Offered daily at 12:00pm (Friday's @ 12:30pm). Often the only full meal that clients receive. Mental Health and Substance Abuse Counseling: offered on a daily basis by a Licensed Mental Health Counselor, Masters Level Social Worker and a Certified Addictions Specialist. By appointment please. Case Management: Case management services offered on a daily basis to those clients that qualify. Case management offers clients assistance in obtaining housing, medical care, mediations and other quality of life needs. Recreational Therapy: Francis House provides many different recreational activities including weekly Bowling @ Pinchasers. Wednesday's @ 1pm. Food Pantry: Funded through the Fred B. Sieber Foundation, the food pantry provides clients an opportunity to recieve non perishable food and hygiene products. Clients participating regularly in Francis House programs earn on average enough "Francis House Dollars" to purchase $75 worth of groceries each month. Francis House Dollars: Earned by clients by participating in Francis House programs and volunteering at our facility. This program has helped improve the self esteem and self worth of clients by giving them a sense of accomplishment. Emergency Assistance: A once in a lifetime assistance to help clients with rent, utilities, medical bills and other quality of life expenses. Must be referred by their case manager. HIV Education Classes: HIV Education is offered to local community groups, other non profit organizations, and any other community entity. Classes are scheduled on a limited basis. Please call (813) 237-3066 to check availability. HIV Testing: Free, confidential OraSure testing. By appointment only.
Since HIV/AIDS was first recognized in the 1980’s, many things have changed. The fight against this epidemic is just as important today. More and more communities are infected and affected by this disease. Because of advances in treatment, individuals are living longer, but the combination of aging and AIDS is exacerbating their health in ways not even anticipated. Homelessness, substance abuse and mental health issues have all had an impact on the spread of the AIDS epidemic.
What You Can Do
Learn all you can about HIV and AIDS. Knowledge dispels fear. Get literature from your local library, hospital or other HIV/AIDS service organization in your area. Shatter myths when you hear them. Talk to your children, family, and friends and promote education in our schools. Encourage the spread of information through TV, radio, newspapers and your religious congregation. The epidemic is far from over. Support healthcare professionals and all who work with the HIV community. Volunteer at a local HIV/AIDS service organization. Your time is just as valuable as your money. Protect yourself from all possible risks. Education can be your salvation.