After getting an update from city officials that oversee AIDS funding in the New Orleans metro area, City Council Vice President Arnie Fielkow feels this year's funding process will be much faster. As we reported last year, "What's in Their Wallets?", administrative delays in funding have forced many of the city's AIDS agencies to take out personal loans and lines of credit in order to stay in operation.


According to Fielkow, at today's Housing and Human Needs meeting, Fran Lawless, director of the Mayor's Office on Health Policy and AIDS Funding (OHP), said the city contracts for those agencies providing HIV/AIDS services will go out as soon as the federal government announces on March 1 the total Ryan White award the New Orleans area will receive. Fielkow says Lawless has agreed to a two-week deadline for the contracts to be sent to providers and the contracts being signed.


" Come March 1, they're ready to go," Fielkow says.


In 2008, service provider award letters, which are sent out prior to the actual contracts, weren't signed by the mayor until June 23. By late September 2008, none of the service providers had received funding for 2008 funding year, which began on March 1, 2008.

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