WBEZ | Alexian Brothers http://www.wbez.org/tags/alexian-brothers Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en AIDS housing facility to open on Chicago’s South Side http://www.wbez.org/story/aids-housing-facility-open-chicago%E2%80%99s-south-side-90141 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//story/photo/2011-August/2011-08-04/005.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>When Bettendorf Place opens in September, it will be one of the only permanent housing facilities for HIV/AIDS patients on Chicago's South Side.</p><p>Alexian Brothers, a Catholic religious order that focuses on health care, is providing 23 studio apartments for low-income residents in the South Chicago neighborhood. The building is a former convent at St. Mary Magdalene Parish.</p><p>Michelle Wetzel is CEO of the AIDS ministry, which has two other facilities in the region: one on Chicago’s North Side, the other in a northern suburb. Wetzel said it was fitting to expand south.</p><p>“We felt it was important to open a facility in the community that had the need so that people could stay in their own communities, near their families, near their connections, near their faith communities,” Wetzel said.</p><p>The facility, located at 8425 S. Saginaw Ave., will have a computer center and offer GED classes.</p><p>“We looked at the demographics of where the HIV population is most populated in the city, and this is one of the neighborhoods that’s most impacted,” Wetzel said.</p><p>Thirty years ago, AIDS housing was hospice care. Today, people with HIV/AIDS are living longer and can live on their own. Wetzel said estimates show that 50 percent of people who are HIV positive will need housing assistance at some point.</p><p>Earlier this year, the AIDS Foundation of Chicago released a <a href="http://www.aidschicago.org/housing/119-housing-plan/317-the-chicago-area-aids-housing-plan-year-3-report-card-march-16-2011">report</a> stressing the HIV/AIDS housing crisis. The March study said 11,624 housing units are needed in the metro area but there are only 1,367 available units.</p></p> Thu, 04 Aug 2011 17:01:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/aids-housing-facility-open-chicago%E2%80%99s-south-side-90141