Metro Weekly

Us Helping Us receives $1.75 million grant

Grant is intended to fund programs and services targeting black gay and transgender individuals

Ron Simmons - Photo: Todd Franson/Metro Weekly

Simmons – Photo: Todd Franson

Us Helping Us, the HIV-prevention nonprofit that works with black gay and same-gender-loving men recieved good news on Wednesday: The Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention (CDC) announced it would award the local organization a five-year grant totaling $1.75 million.

The grant, which amounts to $350,000 a year, will be used to finance UHU’s programs targeting black gay and transgender individuals. It’s the fifth such grant consecutively awarded to the organization.

UHU was one of only 90 groups to receive money from the CDC, which awarded $216 million to various community-based organizations in the hopes of reaching at-risk populations through non-traditional means.

“The organizations we’re funding have a strong foothold in the hardest-hit communities,” said Dr. Jonathan Mermin, director of the CDC’s National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention. “They have the credibility and experience needed to deliver the most effective HIV prevention strategies to those who need them most.”

UHU executive director Ron Simmons was “thrilled and relieved” to receive the grant, which will allow the organization to continue its current programming as well as increase outreach to transgender individuals.

“It is large enough to continue programs we already have in place, so it means I don’t have to plan on getting rid of anybody,” he said. “Our mission continues, and I’m really excited about it. We’re looking forward to the next five years.”

John Riley is the local news reporter for Metro Weekly. He can be reached at jriley@metroweekly.com