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Did You Know...

At Us Helping Us, we offer a variety of weekly discussion and support groups, which are facilitated by trained peers, confidential, meet in a safe space and are designed for the needs of Black gay and same-gender-loving men.

 

Our Accomplishments

Us Helping Us, People Into Living, Inc. (UHU) is nationally recognized as a model HIV prevention program for community-based AIDS organizations targeting the Black community and "hard-to-reach" marginalized and stigmatized populations, such as: men who have sex with men (including self-identified gay men and same-gender-loving men) and people living with HIV. UHU thinks "outside of the box" to develop innovative and effective programs for HIV prevention. Significant achievements include:

2012 - UHU was awarded a grant by FHI360 to increase public awareness of bio-medical HIV prevention and vaccine research among Black gay/SGL men, White gay men, and Black heterosexuals.  The project is in collaboration with the agency Heart to Hand, Inc. in Prince Georges County, Maryland, and the INOVA program at Fairfax Hospital in northern Virginia.

2011 - UHU was one of 34 agencies in the country to receive a five-year grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to provide HIV prevention programs for young Black gay and same-gender-loving men, ages 18 - 29. For this project, UHU will implement the Mpowerment intervention to develop a youth center for young Black gay/SGL men and their friends and partners.

2010 – UHU was awarded its third consecutive five-year grant by the CDC to provide HIV testing in the Washington metropolitan area and two behavioral interventions for Black gay men: the Popular Opinion Leader and the Many Men, Many Voices interventions.

2009 – UHU received a grant from the local health department to expand its programs for young Black gay men, ages 18 – 24. The D-Up! intervention was implemented in the House/Ball community. The Healthy Relationships intervention was provided for HIV-positive young men.

2008 – UHU received the National HIV/AIDS Diversity Award from Kaiser Permanente, and the Leadership Award from the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force.

2007 – UHU was awarded a grant by the United States Conference of Mayors to implement the Popular Opinion Leader intervention targeting Black women patronizing beauty salons in residential Wards 7 and 8.

2006 – UHU was certified as a "free-standing" mental health clinic by the D.C. Department of Mental Health.

2005 – UHU received the Red Ribbon Leadership Award from the National HIV/AIDS Partnership (NHAP) for outstanding leadership in fighting the spread of HIV/AIDS at their inaugural Red Ribbon Awards Luncheon at the United Nations. NHAP is an organization of business, civil, faith-based, and entertainment leaders committed to curtailing HIV/AIDS.

2005 – UHU relocated all of its programs and services to its new headquarters and service facility at 3636 Georgia Avenue, NW. Purchased in 2001 and completely renovated in 2004, the building has over 6,000 square feet of space including: 19 offices; three conference rooms; a large community room; seven rest rooms; a kitchen; an elevator; and a state-of-the-art computer network with 24 terminals and server. The building is handicap accessible and is fully compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). There are five parking spaces, including a designated handicap parking area, in the rear of the building.

2004 – UHU received a grant from the Academy for Educational Development to reduce HIV-related stigma and homophobia in the Black community. For that project, UHU conducted two community forums and produced a 30-minute DVD on homophobia and HIV stigma. UHU was also featured in an article about "down low" men in the May 3rd issue of Jet magazine.

2003 – UHU developed the "Down Low" Online program to outreach to heterosexual men who have sex with men via the Internet.

2002 – UHU collaborated with the organization, The Women's Collective, to sponsor the first town hall meeting on "down low" men and the women in their lives. The "down low" phenomenon did not receive national attention until it was televised on "Oprah" in May 2005.

2001 – UHU purchased a building at 3636 Georgia Avenue for its headquarters and service facility. UHU was the first gay-identified Black AIDS service organization in the nation to purchase its own building.

2001 – UHU initiated one of the first programs in the nation to utilize barbershops as a venue to disseminate HIV risk reduction information. The program was expanded to beauty salons in 2005.

2001 – UHU became the first organization in the nation to air radio commercials about HIV prevention targeting Black gay men. One of the commercials was featured on the National Public Radio daily news program, "All Things Considered."

2000 – UHU conducted the second-largest needs assessment of Black and Latino transgender persons in the nation. The findings of the needs assessment influenced the District of Columbia to become one of the first cities in the nation to fund HIV prevention services for the transgender community.  UHU was funded to provide a transgender drop-in center.  The women of the center founded the community-based organization Transgender Health Empowerment (THE).  UHU was given additional funds to incorporate their organization, obtain 501(c)(3) tax status for it, and provide board training to make them autonomous.  THE is now an independent agency and provides the only shelter for homeless LGBT youth in the District.

1999 – UHU was awarded its first five-year, directly-funded, grant from the CDC to provide HIV prevention services to African-American gay/bisexual men. UHU received its second five-year, directly-funded, grant from the CDC in 2004.

1998 – UHU developed an innovative program to outreach to heterosexual men who have sex with men called the "Down Low" Telephone Help Line. The program was featured in the April 3, 2001, edition of the New York Times.

1998 – UHU received its first grant to provide HIV counseling, testing, and referral services to the African-American community from the local health department.

1997 – UHU's programs expanded to a second building at 811 L Street, SE. Eventually, UHU programs and services would be housed in six buildings within a four block area.

1997 – UHU sponsored its first "House Party Under the Tent" during D.C.'s Black Gay Pride Celebration. For the next few years, the UHU tent became a major part of the weekend celebration.

1996 – UHU became the first Black AIDS organization in the District to distribute condom kits in bars and nightclubs patronized by Black gay/bisexual men.

1995 – The Board of Directors expanded UHU's programs and services to include HIV-negative men. That same year, UHU received its first grant from the local health department to provide HIV prevention programs.

1994 – UHU received its first Ryan White Title I grant from the local health department to provide a holistic support group for HIV-positive Black gay/bisexual men. Since that time, UHU has received Ryan White funding annually.

1993 – UHU moved to its first official facility, a two-bedroom house at 819 L Street, SE. UHU also received its first grant from the Washington AIDS Partnership. The Partnership has awarded grants to UHU annually since 1993 and was instrumental in the development of UHU.

1992 – At the request of Rainey Cheeks, Ron Simmons, a member of the support group, volunteered to be the Executive Director of UHU. He and Rainey reorganized the UHU mission, programs, and Board of Directors.

1990 – UHU expanded its training program to 24 weeks.

1989 – UHU developed a 12-week holistic health training program involving the mind, body, and spirit that taught participants traditional holistic health practices and techniques to live with AIDS.

1988 – UHU incorporated in the District of Columbia as a nonprofit community-based AIDS service organization to serve people living with AIDS. The four incorporators were: Rainey Cheeks, Prem Deben, Andrea Scott, and Howard Morris.

1988 – UHU and The Best of Washington hosted the first Black community meeting on HIV/AIDS.

1986 – The Clubhouse hosted the first major fund raiser for UHU.

1985 – The first UHU support group and buddy system met at the legendary disco, The Clubhouse. Founded by Rainey Cheeks, the support group members were: Andrea Scott, Prem Deben, Franklin Smith, Reginald Clemons, Howard Morris, Gary Martin, and Keith Fabre.