Allies for Health + Wellbeing Acquires Project Silk: A New Chapter for LGBTQIA+ Community Support in Pittsburgh

Updated on October 8, 2023
Community Human Services (CHS)

Bradley Tielsch, Community Support Specialist at Project Silk

Community Human Services (CHS), a leading housing non-profit organization in Pittsburgh, announced last month that it will be transferring the management of its groundbreaking program, Project Silk, to Allies for Health + Wellbeing. 

A renowned program aimed at HIV education and prevention in young, queer people of color originated in 2012 as a focus group led by the University of Pittsburgh’s School for Public Health. Project Silk has since evolved under the management of CHS to offer a safe space for young individuals to express themselves. Since its inception, Project Silk has been instrumental in raising awareness about HIV, particularly in the LGBTQIA+ community. The program has prioritized regular testing and education about prevention, contributing to a significant reduction in HIV cases in Pittsburgh’s queer community.  
 
In 2015, CHS took over the operations of Project Silk from The University of Pittsburgh. The program has since expanded to offer life-skill trainings and offers resources beyond HIV prevention, making it a one-stop resource for the community’s young queer individuals.  
 
“On behalf of the Board of Directors and staff at CHS, we’d like to express our sincere appreciation for the incredible journey in managing Project Silk over the past seven years,” said Alicia Romano, Chief Executive Officer at CHS. “We believe the time has come for Project Silk to embark on a new chapter of growth and expansion beyond what we can offer. It has been an honor for our organization to be trusted with such a brilliant and innovative project. The success and impact that Project Silk has achieved are truly remarkable, and it fills us with great pride. We are confident that by opening new doors, Project Silk will continue to thrive and have a significant impact on those living with or at risk of HIV. We look forward to witnessing the continued success of Project Silk under its new direction as we, here at CHS, continue to focus on ending homelessness and hunger in Allegheny County.” 

The acquisition by Allies for Health + Wellbeing promises to take Project Silk to new heights, extending its reach and impact within the LGBTQIA+ community. The union of these two organizations will strengthen the support system for queer youth in Pittsburgh, helping them navigate the unique challenges they face. The program is currently located in Wood Street Commons in downtown Pittsburgh and is expected to change locations in the coming months. The last business day of the program under CHS will be September 30, 2023. 

About Community Human Services

Community Human Services is a leading non-profit housing provider working towards ending homelessness and hunger by serving Allegheny County residents experiencing a housing crisis or food insecurity. Over the years, CHS has been committed to providing resources and support to the most vulnerable individuals in the community, ensuring they have access to basic needs and a safe place to call home.  

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