PALM SPRINGS, Calif. – In what has been 30 years in the making, the Desert AIDS Project announced a major expansion.

“The community’s support has been the lynch behind Desert AIDS success ever since we were first founded,” said David Brinkman, CEO of the Desert AIDS Project.

The multi-million dollar project will more than double the ability to meet the demand of people in the valley who are not able to access basic health care.

The expansion, which will take place over the next to years, will provide low to no-cost medical and dental services plus affordable housing.

The DAP recently purchased a county-run health clinic next door to its current facility.

“We thought it was a good idea for us to sell them the building because we know they’re experts in that kind of service,” said Riverside County Supervisor V. Manuel Perez.

Services that will now include twice as many medical clinics, dental clinics, and a stronger focus on mental health care. DAP Chief Medical Officer David Morris says the timing for expansion couldn’t be better.

“We are really going from traditionally LGBT/HIV care into primary care. Currently, we’re seeing more people in primary care than we are in HIV care, so it’s important we have the spam the facility and clinicians we have to do that and it’s so important in growing our program because we’ve run out of space,” Morris said.

The DAP will also meet the demand of a 3-year waitlist for affordable housing.

“Part of this expansion is building up to 60 new units of housing. So, people can live where they receive their healthcare and social services,” Brinkman said.

People like Nicholas Snow, a DAP client for more than 5 years.

“Clients in Palm Springs don’t all get how we have access to perhaps the number one HIV/AIDS service provider in the world,” Snow said. “And I’m alive because of Desert Aids Project.”

The project is expected to be complete by 2020 and will cost approximately $20 million.

The County Health Clinic that was purchased by DAP will be relocating to Cathedral City, according to Supervisor Perez.

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