CAMPAIGN FUNDS NEW CENTER FOR HEALTH & WELLNESS NAMED ‘STRUT’;
RELOCATION OF PROGRAMS SLATED FOR OCTOBER
SAN FRANCISCO, September 15, 2015—San Francisco AIDS Foundation launched the public phase of "The Campaign for Health & Wellness" having raised more than $12.2 million of its $15 million goal. The campaign funds the programmatic expansion and renovation costs associated with its groundbreaking new center for gay and bisexual men's health and wellness at 470 Castro Street. The new center is named "Strut" and brings together the foundation's well-known and popular free services for sexual health, substance use and mental health, and community engagement and support. Services are slated to move into the new space in October.
"We're grateful for the campaign's tremendous early momentum—a clear testament to the hunger that exists in our community to make San Francisco the first city to end HIV transmission," said Tom Perrault, chair of the Campaign for Health & Wellness and former board chair of San Francisco AIDS Foundation. "Major donors and institutional partners really stepped up during the quiet phase, and we’re excited to invite the community to join us, help forge a groundbreaking new model and ensure the programs are fully funded for years to come."
Strut co-locates the sexual health services of Magnet, the substance use and mental health counseling services of Stonewall, and the community-building and support programs of Bridgemen and Positive Force. Two of the newest San Francisco AIDS Foundation programs designed to address the needs of young, gay and bisexual African-American men (the DREAAM Project), and men over the age of 50 (the 50-Plus Network) will also be located at Strut. The new, larger location enables the foundation to expand case management services by 25%, mental health counseling by 25%, substance use and harm reduction counseling by 50%, and HIV and STI screening up to 40%.
The name "Strut" was selected for its multi-dimensionality—it is both a verb meaning "to walk with pride and confidence," and also a noun referring to a beam that provides structural support. The name and identity were developed pro-bono by Heat, a San Francisco-based creative agency. Heat's yearlong brand development process was guided by primary and secondary research, interviews with community leaders, creative workshops with foundation staff and focus groups with clients and other community members.
"We knew we had tremendous responsibility to develop a new name as exciting as the innovative model it represents, especially considering the affection that exists in the community for our three program brands that will come together to form Strut," said Neil Giuliano, San Francisco AIDS Foundation CEO. "Strut is celebratory, unique, a little quirky and memorable, just like San Francisco. That's why it works—but at the end of the day, it's not about the name, it's about coming together to build a stronger, healthier and more vibrant community."
The new model at Strut was developed following a 2011 study by Bain & Company, a top management consulting firm. Bain worked with the foundation pro-bono to help determine how the agency could better meet the needs of gay and bisexual men and chart a path towards ending HIV transmission in San Francisco. The team identified a compelling need to co-locate individual existing programs serving gay and bisexual men, offer new programs to address unmet need and pivot away from a focus on disease identification and management towards a new model that promotes holistic health and wellness.
"Strut is a revolutionary new model for San Francisco and one that addresses a clear need—I expect that we will get between a third and half of gay and bisexual men in San Francisco coming through the doors of Strut in the very first year. Co-locating our services in a beautiful, larger, central community space will help us serve even more people with the sexual health, substance use, mental health and community programs we are known for. With the opening of Strut, we absolutely have the potential to make a positive impact on the lives of so many people in our community," said Tim Patriarca, executive director of Strut.
The Campaign for Health & Wellness is a four-year, $15 million major fundraising campaign to establish the first-ever home for health and wellness for gay and bisexual men in order to help make San Francisco the first city to end HIV transmission. Naming opportunities exist for major donors within the building. Programmatic naming opportunities are also available. For example, the foundation is grateful for the support of the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation, which made a five-year pledge to support and secure naming rights to the 50-Plus Network, which will henceforth be known as the "Elizabeth Taylor 50-Plus Network."
Learn more about the campaign and get involved at http://strutsf.org/wellnesscampaign. To learn more about Strut, watch an introductory video, and receive updates as it prepares to open, visit http://strutsf.org.
About San Francisco AIDS Foundation
No city experienced epidemic levels of HIV faster than San Francisco. At San Francisco AIDS Foundation, we work to end the epidemic where it first took hold, and eventually everywhere. Established in 1982, our mission is the radical reduction of new infections in San Francisco. Through education, advocacy, and direct services for prevention and care, we are confronting HIV in communities most vulnerable to the disease. We refuse to accept that HIV transmission is inevitable. More information about the foundation is available at http://www.sfaf.org.