, Volume 27, Issue 4, pp 380-389

Developing services for substance-abusing HIV-positive youth with mental health disorders

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Models of program development have primarily focused on the internal organizational processes needed to plan, implement, and evaluate new service programs. However, creating an external demand for new programs by policy makers, administrative bureaucracies, public health officials, and funders is critical to establishing new programs. A series of deaths of seropositive youth and an absence of local service settings with staff trained to address the needs of youth living with HIV provided the impetus for Larkin Street Youth Center. In particular, the agency had to overcome stigma associated with having both substance use and mental health disorders to establish service programs to recruit and mobilize staff within the agency and the local community and to establish a comprehensive housing program for symptomatic HIV-infected adolescents. This article examines how a residential assisted care facility for HIV-seropositive adolescents was established using organizational strategic planning processes, problem solving, and social marketing frameworks.