San Francisco Substance Abuse Funding in Jeopardy
An audit by San Francisco's controller released Monday recommended that health officials take over an HIV prevention program for transgender people that needs financial support to continue, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
The federally funded TRANS program runs a drop-in center and refers transgender people to substance abuse programs. The program exhausted its entire budget for the current fiscal year due to unexpectedly high rent, according to the audit.
Barbara Garcia, deputy director of the city's Department of Public Health, said the department is supportive of the TRANS program and is working to secure necessary funding.
Supervisors would have to approve spending $150,000 to maintain the program until Oct. 1, when a $400,000 federal grant will take effect and finance its fifth year of operation.
UC-San Francisco has declined to renew the appointment of a professor who ran the program as principal investigator. The professor will be leaving the university at the end of June.
Jeff Sheehy, spokesperson for UCSF, said the university will look for private donors willing to contribute the $150,000 for the program to continue running if supervisors cannot secure the funds.
Meanwhile, UCSF said it will continue to operate a second program aimed at transgender people. The program, called the Transitions Project, is funded by a $500,000 annual grant from CDC.
The project develops HIV prevention programs for neighborhood organizations around the country to bring to transgender people (Russell, San Francisco Chronicle, 6/19).