Cascade Aids Project (CAP) SEIU 503 members are taking to the street once again, on the 29th AIDS Walk Portland, The Fields Park, Saturday, Sept. 12 – along with thousands of others in Portland – to raise awareness of HIV/AIDS and money for prevention and support of those afflicted. The walk has been endorsed by SEIU 503, OPEU, and it is encouraging members to donate to the walk.
Though the walk raises public awareness of the many severe challenges those afflicted with AIDS face, CAP Sublocal President Benjamin Gerritz said they are critically important because they give hope to those struggling with AIDS. He said donations go to issues SEIU 503 members really care about: supporting living wages, affordable housing and public services. Benjamin said that tragically, federal funding has decreased while the number of people needing help has increased. More and more people trying to survive are reaching the breaking point. To these people, he said, donations signify better days ahead.
CAP (http://cascadeaids.org/ ; http://annualreports.cascadeaids.org/2014/ ) is one of many SEIU 503 non-profit organizations providing social services in Oregon. Its mission is to prevent HIV infections, support and empower people affected and infected by HIV/AIDS, and eliminate HIV/AIDS-related stigma. Benjamin said a major effort just goes into finding housing for people with HIV/AIDS. With the high cost of housing in the Portland area, he said that can be particular challenging. Employment support is also a critical service.
The event starts at 11 a.m., at The Fields Park, NW 11th and Overton Streets, with live entertainment and other activities. The 2.4 mile walk through downtown Portland starts at 1 p.m.
The walk made nearly $408,000 last year and this year the goal is $450,000. Other SEIU 503 members are contributing and participating in the walk, including a team from Oregon Health Authority.
Donations are tax-deductible and can be made through the website: http://aidswalkportland.org/