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Houston Voice, No. 1136, August 2, 2002
File 007
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Houston Voice, No. 1136, August 2, 2002 - File 007. 2002-08-02. University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. November 26, 2020. https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/3893/show/3874.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

(2002-08-02). Houston Voice, No. 1136, August 2, 2002 - File 007. Montrose Voice. University of Houston Libraries. Retrieved from https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/3893/show/3874

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

Houston Voice, No. 1136, August 2, 2002 - File 007, 2002-08-02, Montrose Voice, University of Houston Libraries, accessed November 26, 2020, https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/3893/show/3874.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

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Title Houston Voice, No. 1136, August 2, 2002
Contributor
  • Weaver, Penny
  • Crain, Chris
Publisher Window Media
Date August 2, 2002
Language English
Subject
  • LGBTQ community
  • LGBTQ people
  • Gay liberation movement
Place
  • Houston, Texas
Genre
  • newspapers
Type
  • Text
Identifier OCLC: 31485329
Collection
  • University of Houston Libraries Special Collections
  • LGBT Research Collection
  • Montrose Voice
Rights In Copyright
Note This item was digitized from materials loaned by the Gulf Coast Archive and Museum (GCAM).
Item Description
Title File 007
Transcript 6 AUGUST 2, 2002 www.houston voice.com HOUSTON VOICE Coalition clients displaced from homes With the threatened closing of Club Nsomnia, HIV/AIDS patients served by AHCH face a housing crisis By ERIC ERVIN The apartment in Montrose where Patrick has lived for the last three months is nothing fancy, but it's clean, comfortable and, most importantly, economical compared to other places in this neighborhood. He has a living room, a large kitchen, eating area, and a place to sleep at night for only $.300 a month in rent. That covers all utilities and even his phone bill. Patrick, who doesn't want his last name revealed, has been HIV positive since 1993. His current home has been provided by the AIDS Housing Coalition Houston, a nonprofit organization that has arranged emergency shelter and food for people living with HIV and AIDS for about 10 years. But others like Patrick may not be able to take advantage of this service because of the nonprofit organization's recent financial strains. The after-hours Club Nsomnia, which funds AHCH, may be forced to close its doors soon after allegations by the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission. Agents with the TABC raided the club the night of July 19 and, since then, all pouring of alcohol has stopped at Nsomnia. Now, attendance is down, donations are all but dried up and the club's future is in danger. Funding for the coalition is drastically low, according to Nsomnia CEO Matt Locklin, who is also executive director and co-founder of AHCH, and those who were housed in the shelter could end up homeless. All of the shelter's residents had to vacate as soon as possible, as per a letter sent out last week by the coalition. According to the letter, a previous notification stating that tenants had until Aug. 3 to move out has been changed to "immediately." The other tenants had already moved out of the apartments this week, leaving only Patrick behind. Patrick said he feels lucky because he has somewhere else to stay, but he feels sad for others who are not as fortunate as he. The apartment came at a perfect time in his life, Patrick said. He said he used to live at a friend's house on the other side of town, but the friend sold the home and Apartments provided by AIDS Housing Coalition Houston — such as those in this building in Montrose — have made temporary homes for a number of HIV/AIDS patients who otherwise may have been on the streets. The drastically reduced business at Club Nsomnia, which largely funds AHCH, may threaten the existence of such emergency shelter. (Photo by Penny Weaver) moved to another residence. The apartment gave him a sense of independence and is close to his doctor's office in Montrose, he said. In order to live in the apartments, occupants must fill out an application, verify their HIV status, and show proof of income. Once the information is verified, clients can move in as quickly as within a day. They're allowed to stay for a maximum of 90 days. "This was so easy to move into," he said. "I called Matt up and came by and filled out an application and within the next couple of days I was able to move in." No security deposit or connection fee was required, Patrick said. Residents at the shelter are also provided with food every week. The coalition operates two units, which can house two people each. Patrick said he's thankful for the help that the coalition has offered him, and is sad to see its programs in danger. "I wasn't sure where I would have gone," he said. "It's just a good thing for people who need it. It's a shame if it's not going to be here anymore. "I don't know how many people he [Locklin] has helped, but it's a good opportunity for people," Patrick added. Locklin said he was prompted to start the coalition after a friend's death from AIDS. The friend had to live on the streets because a local service organization could not find him a place to live. The coalition's shelter is the only one of its kind serving people living with HIV and AIDS in Harris County. The organization also has offered on-site counseling and distributed information on HIV and AIDS from the club headquarters. Locklin: Coalition may turn to offering emergency shelter CLUB STRUGGlf S, continued from Page 1 U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, whose district includes the Montrose area, said this week that she will try to secure money to keep the program running. Locklin said club organizers will meet with Lee in the coming days. "We are going to see what options we have to keep the doors opened," Lee said. The congresswom- an said she plans to solicit local government, religious groups, and private donors for U.S. Rep. Sheila funds. She said she was -Jackson Lee said this upset when she heard week she will try to of the news about the find financial support AHCH shelters closing, for the program. "I was a little angry then disturbed," Lee said. "It provides a vital service for the community." Lee called upon residents to offer support. "This is not something to overlook," she said. "Everyone should be concerned with this." She believes seeing the coalition go under is a loss to not only the Montrose community, but to the city of Houston as a whole. "Our success in health in helping people living with HIV and AIDS depends on programs like this." Lee said. Locklin said the funding emergency also may lead the coalition to change some of its focus. "We're looking at trying to open another emergency shelter," rather than fund transitional housing, he said. In 2001, the coalition raised $292,000 and spent nearly all of it on its programs, according to Locklin. The group placed 45 people in housing last year, and also offers counseling, food, assistance in paying utilities, and buying clothing and household goods. "I get at least 10 calls a day for advice, counseling and referrals," Locklin said. AHCH's routine expenses include the community center lease, apartment leases, janitorial supplies and services, and club expenses such as a DJ, bookkeeper and cleanup. The community center building houses Club Nsomnia in addi tion to serving as a site for storage, a food bank and fund-raisers. Most of the $292,000 the group garnered last year — $290,000 of which was spent on its programs, Locklin said — was raised through Club Nsomnia, which requests a donation at the door to those who enter the club. Charges being filed TABC Lt. Tracy Hudgins said this week that the commission has asked the Harris County District Attorney's office to pursue charges in relation to the July 19 raid at Nsomnia. A charge of selling alcohol without a license would be filed against an individual. Hudgins said, presumably Locklin. A spokesperson for the district attorney's intake division said Thursday that no charge has yet been filed. The paperwork likely is still being processed, according to Hudgins, since the TABC report on the operation was just finished Wednesday. Locklin disputes the TABC's version of events at the club. He denies that Club Nsomnia sells alcohol. He also alleges that TABC agents and HPD officers at the club on July 19 made anti-gay comments and targeted gay clients. "[HPD] Internal Affairs has accepted our complaint and TABC has accepted our complaint," Locklin said. "We've got a lot of different people breathing down everybody's neck about this situation." According to Hudgins, however, such a complaint was not made about state agents. "We have not been accused of making homophobic remarks," he said. HPD officials could not be reached for comment by press time. Houston City Council member Annise Parker, the only openly gay person on the council, said her office has looked into whether or not gays were targeted in the raid on the club. "We have, at this point, concluded our investigation," Parker said Thursday. "We've visited with TABC and with Matt and the Houston Police Department. We asked for anyone who might have been present during the raid to visit with us, and we haven't heard from anybody. "We get completely different stories from the two parties," she added. "We've been unable to verify whether there was anything inappropriate going on when TABC came to the club, but all of our evidence shows that Matt was operating illegally." Parker said that no matter what the cause may be for Club Nsomnia's fund- raising, it must operate in accordance with the law. "The closure may have a real negative impact on the AHCH, but the rules, particularly alcohol rules, apply to everybody." she said. Alternative and possibly more traditional funding sources for the group would also require more structure for the coalition, Parker noted. "I think it would cause an overhaul of the organization, which is not necessarily a bad thing," she said. Locklin is determined to continue work on behalf of HIV/AIDS patients in whatever way he can. "AHCH deals with AIDS on a personal level. We try to inspire hope in the person again," he said. "I have a burning desire to help people with HIV and AIDS stay off the streets, and whatever way I can, I will." -£ric Ervin contributerJ to this story
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