Thursday, November 3, 2016

Obamacare / Affordable Care Act and Health Insurance Enrollment 2016 - What Mpowerment Projects Can Do.

Everyone needs access to affordable health care, especially young adult bisexual and gay men. 

Millennial young bisexual and gay men's lives are in transition. There is a lot going on. Moving out, being independent, finding a job and/or going to a University or Community College.  Why is it important to think about preventative health care?  Yes, well gay men are at increased risk for certain chronic diseases and mental health problems. HIV infections are also increasing among young adult gay and bisexual men.  Think about it, nobody should go broke because they become ill, need medications or break an arm. Let's make it a goal to get more young men enrolled in health insurance. 

Mpowerment Long Island NY

Open Enrollment Deadlines

  • November 1, 2016: Open Enrollment 2017 starts. This is the first day you can enroll, re-enroll, or change health plans for 2017.
  • December 15, 2016: You must enroll in or change health plans by this date for your health plan to start January 1, 2017.
  • January 1, 2017: 2017 insurance starts if you enrolled or changed plans by December 15.
  • January 31, 2017: Last day to enroll in or change a 2017 health plan. After this date, you can enroll or change plans only if you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period.
Find someone nearby to help you to apply. Click me.

Save these dates...participate!
December 5th to 10th - LGBT Enrollment Week of Action
December 10th - National Youth Enrollment Day of Action
Dec. 15th - Deadline for coverage that starts January 1st, 2017

We need your help to keep things moving in the right direction for young adults. What can your Mpowerment Project do to encourage discussion about the Affordable Care Act/Obamacare?  Mpowerment Projects (MP) can bring awareness and information about enrolling in health insurance coverage to their participants. Let these helpful sites guide you.

The Affordable Care Act helps young adult gay and bisexual men living with HIV. Here are some of the many ways that Obamacare helps everyone living with HIV.  

SOMOS OC, Mpowerment Orange County CA

Mpowerment Projects can host discussion events on the importance of health insurance coverage and why young adult gay and bisexual men can benefit from having insurance. Have your Core Group members discuss ideas on how to get more young men enrolled in health care.

Share me!  Out 2 Enroll features a series of shareables. They've go reminders about the start of enrollment, free in-person LGBTQ-friendly assisters, and more. (Facebook / Twitter)

Social Media Kit:  Our friends at HHS have put together an awesome toolkit, which includes key Open Enrollment messages, graphics and video, a social media calendar and more. It will be updated throughout Open Enrollment and will be a one-stop shop for #GetCovered content.  Check it out here.  
#HealthyAdulting is a new Young Invincibles campaign to provide resources to Millennials on all things coverage to care. Check it out here

Hashtag me: #GetCovered |  #WhyImCovered | #HealthyAdulting

Articles of interest / Articles to discuss with your participants.


Enroll America talking points on the Election and the ACA
  • Now that the election is over, we know that consumers, navigators, and partners have expressed concerns and asked questions about the future of the Affordable Care Act and their ability to enroll in quality, affordable health coverage through the Marketplace.
  • That is particularly true for the more than 12 million Americans who have come to count on the coverage they’ve purchased through the Affordable Care Act marketplace, and another 15 million who have gained coverage through Medicaid since 2013.
  • Both groups are deeply worried about what the election results mean for their health, their families, and their financial security.
  • As of now, nothing about the Affordable Care Act marketplace has changed, and consumers who enroll and pay their first premium by December 15 will have coverage starting January 1.
  • We know that consumers have questions about the election and the implications for their coverage moving forward, and we will be paying close attention to this topic.
  • If anything were to change about their coverage options for 2017, our staff, volunteers and partners will be available to help consumers understand what it means for them.
  • But right now, it is critically important to reassure consumers that nothing has changed.
  • Open enrollment is ongoing right now, and consumers should continue to enroll.
  • And the excitement we’ve seen from consumers, and the dedication and energy we’ve seen
  • from the enrollment community, makes us optimistic about what we can accomplish during this enrollment period. 

Enroll America Q&A on the Election and the ACA Q&A

Q. What do you think President Trump and the Republican Congress will do about the Affordable Care Act?
  • I can’t speculate about what actions the President or Congress might take in the future.
  • What I can say is that as of now, nothing has changed about the fourth enrollment period – not dates, not plans, and not prices.
  • Furthermore, a “full repeal on Day 1” likely won’t be possible because of the 60 vote threshold to move legislation in the Senate.
  • So even if reconciliation legislation is used to roll back parts of the Affordable Care Act, it’s likely that 2017 plans will remain in place.
  • That’s particularly true because both issuers and Members of Congress have expressed a desire to avoid disruptions and do no harm to consumers already in the system.
  • Assisters in the states are already funded through September 2017, and that funding can’t be revoked.
  • That means free, expert assistance will continue to be available to consumers throughout the enrollment period and beyond.
  • So the bottom line is that as of now nothing has changed, and consumers can still enroll in affordable coverage that will help to meet their families’ healthcare needs.

Q. What are you doing to get the word out to consumers who make think that Obamacare has already been repealed?
  • Our staff and our partners are already actively engaged in reaching out to consumers to enroll in coverage during the open enrollment period, and energy and enthusiasm has been high.
  • So they are all perfectly positioned to let consumers know that – no matter what happened in the election – they are still able to get financial help and enroll in a plan right now.
  • Over the next few months, we’ll be working tirelessly to spread the word and help as many people as possible enroll in or renew their coverage.

Q. But how can you in good faith tell consumers to enroll when it’s almost certain the law will be repealed?
  • Because it’s absolutely true that as of now, nothing has changed.
  • Consumers can enroll in coverage right now, pay their premium by December 15, and begin using their insurance for medical care on January 1.
  • Any changes will not impact consumers until after the new Administration and Congress is sworn in, and even if they do choose to make changes, those changes may not impact consumers for a year or more.
  • But right now, consumers can receive financial help to enroll in coverage, and use that coverage to access care. 
  • That is an incredibly important opportunity for millions of American families, and we want to make sure they know it is still available to them. 

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Mpowerment training: Welcome to the Bay Area.

Welcome to the Bay Area.  Here is a list of things to do above-and-beyond the Mpowerment training.

  • The Castro 
  • San Francisco
  • The Presidio and Golden Gate Bridge
  • Weather check
  • Mission Bay (where the Mpowerment training takes place).

The Castro

The GLBT History Historical Society collects, preserves and interprets the history of GLBT people, and the communities that support them. Located in San Francisco's Castro District, The GLBT History Museum is the first full-scale, stand-alone museum of its kind in the United States.

'Out of the Bars and into the Streets.' An audio-walking tour about Harvey Milk and the rise of gay power.  Download the tour map and audio guide here.

Visit Strut!  San Francisco AIDS Foundation's premiere home for health & wellness in the Castro, SF. 

Best place to catch a classic: Castro Theater.   
Best bar to sporty-spice it. Hi Tops Sports Bar.
Find Mr. Penis Cookie here:  Hot Cookie. 
Castro district, neighborhood guide: My Castro

San Francisco

'The best way to see San Francisco is by bike.' Consider taking a bike tour with Daniel and Tim. Streets of San Francisco Bicycle Tours.

Shaping San Francisco. Explore Bay Area social movement history. Bike and Foot Tours.
San Francisco bucket list: Things to do in SF before you die. YES on 33,34, 58 and 60!
The history of San Francisco landmarks that no one told you.
San Francisco's tallest towers.  Architecture

Get your ticket!  Your guide to the theater-scene in San Francisco

San Francisco Big Bus Night Tours.  Lit up!  

Here’s a cool trick for art fans. You can text San Francisco’s Museum of Modern Art at 572-51 and they will respond with a piece of art from its collection.

VINTAGE.  Visit the Tonga Room & Hurricane Bar. 

VINTAGE. Golden Gate City: San Francisco  A booster travelogue from 1939 showing highlights from the city, including shots of Market Street. (10 min.) 

The Presidio and Golden Gate Bridge

Gotta see that Golden Gate? Then visit the Presidio Visitor Center.  The Presidi-go Shuttle is a free ride to the Presidio and Golden Gate Bridge. You can catch the Presido-go Shuttle from the Embarcadero in downtown SF.  The Presidi-go Shuttle also goes by the Walt Disney Family Museum.

It is (usually) cooler and (often) windy. Check to see if you will need a wind-breaker / jacket and a umbrella for showers.  SF average rain and temperatures.

Mission Bay
Where the Mpowerment Training takes place:
Mission Hall - UCSF Mission Bay
550 16th St, Room 1401/2
San Francisco, CA 94158
You will need to show your ID to security in the lobby. Security will have a list of training attendees. 
Mission Hall - UCSF Mission Bay

Mission Hall - UCSF Mission Bay
UCSF Mission Bay Campus Map
The Ramp is only a seven minute walk from Mission Hall. Originally a bait shop in the '50s, The Ramp has morphed into a fun and casual restaurant. A local-favorite. (walking-directions).

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

The Mpowerment Project+

The Mpowerment Project has been enhanced to help young MSM (YMSM) living with HIV to engage in the HIV treatment cascade. 


This blog summarizes the adaptations that UCSF’s Center for AIDS Prevention Studies, along with our community partners, have made to the original Mpowerment Project model to ensure that it addresses the needs of young gay, bisexual, and other MSM living with HIV, and continues to be a dynamic and effective community-level HIV prevention program for the entire young gay men’s community.  The National Institute of Mental Health is supporting this work. 

RECOMMENDED:  What is the Mpowerment Project?  Download Module 1: Overview.

Join us. Attend the Mpowerment Project Training

The Mpowerment Project (MP) has been enhanced to help young gay, bisexual, and other MSM (YMSM) living with HIV to engage in the HIV care continuum. The Mpowerment Project+ (MP+) builds on the Mpowerment Project “model” to mobilize YMSM in the community to decrease psychosocial barriers (e.g., reducing HIV stigma) and increase psychosocial facilitators (e.g., increasing social support for engaging in care, increasing literacy about HIV treatment) to support YMSM living with HIV in order to increase their engagement in care. The MP model involves implementing the program’s original core elements for all YMSM regardless of HIV status, but for MP+ all the core elements have been adapted to also support engagement in care. In addition, three new core elements have been developed: the Positive Living Group and the Support Networks Group (both described below). Finally, we encourage the use of a Peer Navigator in the program. 

The overarching goal of the project is to build an empowered, cohesive, and mobilized YMSM community that supports each other about HIV prevention. MP+ does not solely focus on YMSM living with HIV for four reasons:

First, the social networks of YMSM who are living with HIV include both HIV-negative men as well as men living with HIV. Therefore, to maximize social support for engagement in HIV care and to reduce HIV stigma, it is necessary to mobilize peers, regardless of their HIV status. 

Second, concerns about HIV stigma dissuade many YMSM who are living with HIV from participating in a program if it is perceived as being solely for men who  are living with HIV. Therefore, MP+ weaves in information specific to men who are living with HIV throughout all of the intervention’s core elements and also targets the entire community of YMSM to support engagement in the HIV treatment cascade. 

Third, for YMSM men who are unaware of their HIV infection, or who are HIV-negative, HIV prevention messages are diffused throughout the community to create positive social norms and increase social support to promote regular HIV testing, reduce unprotected sex, and increase awareness of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP). Diagnosis of HIV infection is the first step of the HIV treatment cascade. 

The fourth reason is that the project space is a social environment for YMSM living with HIV to disclose their status to others and receive emotional, informational, and practical support from other YMSM regardless of their HIV status.

RELATED:  What is the Mpowerment Project?  Download Module 1: Overview.

Holatinos, Mpowerment New York City NY
The MP+ is
  • Focused on social change (e.g., changes social norms, increases social support), interpersonal change (e.g., addresses couples’ dynamics), structural change (e.g., provides a community center for men to gather and builds a supportive community, addresses the environment in which men live, provides condoms and lube at the project site and throughout the community through outreach), and increasing personal and community empowerment.
  • A combination prevention strategy – it focuses on individual, interpersonal, social, and structural issues, and links both a social/behavioral intervention approach with biomedical methods.
  • A community mobilization strategy, using community organizing methods.A social marketing approach. 
  • An approach that addresses social determinants of health (e.g., heterosexism, racism, low education levels, low SES, internalized oppression).
Join us. Attend the Mpowerment Project Training

Adaptations to Existing MP Core Elements

The following sections describe how MP’s existing core elements have been adapted to focus on men living with HIV in order to support them to engage in care. Examples are provided. All of the core elements are adapted to focus on prevention with positives (PwP), internalized and externally expressed HIV stigma reduction, social support to engage in the HIV care continuum, social norms about engaging in the HIV care continuum, HIV treatment literacy, and critical analysis regarding reducing  transmission risk.

There are some activities that are exclusively for men living with HIV (the new groups and some social activities). It may be challenging to recruit men living with HIV to these activities early on in the project, until they begin to feel openly accepted at the project space, see the emphasis on confidentiality, and observe the anti-HIV stigma messaging that will be diffused in the community. But as trust is built, men living with HIV are more willing to attend project-sponsored activities designed specifically for them.

     Coordinators. Coordinators are trained in care, treatment, and adherence issues, as well as available local HIV-related resources. Besides having at minimum 1.5 FTE for MP (two or more FTE is far better), the additional components require an additional Coordinator. It is important to have a Coordinator who is living with HIV, is “out” about his HIV status, and is able to discuss issues about living with HIV from his own experience. 

     The Core Group (CG). The CG is the decision making body for MP+. It mobilizes men from the entire YMSM community and actively recruits YMSM from diverse social networks. In addition, priority is placed on recruiting some CG participants who are open about living with HIV and are comfortable discussing HIV-related issues. The CG analyzes the root causes for why some YMSM living with HIV do not fully engage in HIV care, and from those discussions they derive project-based solutions and carry out activities specifically about engaging in HIV care, why it is important to take HIV medications regularly if living with HIV, and the importance of getting tested regularly for HIV for persons who may be at risk. They also discuss how to reduce HIV stigma in the YMSM community, and the CG will enact the solutions they generate.

     M-groups. These are one-time, 3-hour skills building sessions for 10-12 YMSM that address the issue of HIV related stigma and emphasize that HIV treatment is highly effective in keeping people living with HIV healthy and virally suppressed. Myths about medications are dispelled (e.g., that they change the way a person looks, that they cannot be taken if the person is drinking alcohol or using recreational drugs). M-groups also discuss the importance of regular testing for HIV if sexually active, and information about the availability of PrEP and PEP for men who are HIV negative. In addition, participants in M-groups learn about and are motivated to conduct Informal Outreach with their friends, specifically about engaging in care if living with HIV and getting tested at least every 6 months if HIV negative.

     Informal outreach. This core element is about spreading messages to and supporting friends about HIV prevention, in which YMSM support their HIV-negative friends to get tested for HIV at least every six months, reduce their sexual risk behavior, consider using PrEP, and attend an M-group. Informal outreach to YMSM’s friends who are living with HIV, involves encouraging them to take their medications every day, see their healthcare provider at least twice per year, attend an M-group, and attend the Positive Living Group and the Support Network Group.  

     Project space. The space is a comfortable hang-out or drop-in location that is welcoming to all YMSM. It is a place where YMSM can relax and be themselves, easily obtain condoms and lube, obtain referrals including culturally sensitive HIV testing and treatment sites, and for local mental health (e.g., depression) services. YMSM can also receive materials about how to talk with healthcare providers in order to get their needs met. Posters are on display concerning tips for remembering to take medications every day, to remember not to make assumptions about others’ HIV status, and that the space is a “gossip-free” environment pertaining to others’ HIV status. There is also information about PrEP and PEP and where to obtain them. All such materials need to be created so that they are visually compelling, culturally appropriate, and appropriate for participants’ reading levels. 

     Project sponsored social events. Project sponsored events are meant to attract diverse YMSM to the project. The events target a range of issues that are important to all YMSM, and they also include content with an explicit focus on issues critical for those living with HIV. For example, weekly discussion groups can sometimes focus on coming out as gay and living with HIV, HIV stigma in the YMSM community, or on dating and relationships when someone is living with HIV. Community forums can focus on issues such as how to support friends living with HIV, spirituality, churches’ acceptance of YMSM in general and those living with HIV in particular, or treatment updates by HIV care providers. Some social events will be exclusively for men living with HIV, whereas other social events target all YMSM.  

     Outreach materials. Outreach materials distributed at project sponsored events and at community venues contain information about HIV prevention, the importance of engaging in HIV care, how to support friends living with HIV to engage in healthcare, and messages to decrease HIV stigma (e.g., reducing gossip about others’ HIV infection).

The Q Austin, Mpowerment Texas

Three Additional Core Elements for MP+

In addition to the previous core elements, in MP+ there are three new core elements that have been specifically created for YMSM living with HIV. 

     Positive Living Groups. Since young men living with HIV want to talk with and get support from other men who are also living with HIV, one-time, 3-hour meetings of 8 – 12 men living with HIV were created. The groups are semi-structured and incorporate discussion, games, and fun educational content to help facilitate information sharing and encourage social support. The group addresses literacy about why medications are important to take and the importance of seeing your healthcare provider at least twice a year, feelings about living with HIV and taking medications, how to obtain emotional, informational and practical support about fully engaging in HIV care (including referral and retention in care and adherence to HIV medications), dating and disclosure of HIV status to others, relationships and sex, and how to prepare for and get the most from visits with a medical provider. Confidentiality is stressed. 

     Support Network Groups. These groups bring together YMSM living with HIV and 1-3 of their close friends or family members for the purpose of building support for men living with HIV. The meetings are 2-hours long and, through a mix of role play and discussion, increase awareness around what it means to be virally suppressed, how to become virally suppressed (adherence to medications), and ways to support the men living with HIV to remain in care.

     MP+ Navigator (MPN). When MP+ Coordinators learn that participants who are living with HIV are not actively linked into care, the Coordinators will refer them to the MPN who, along with the Project Coordinator(s), will connect them with HIV treatment facilities and other services and help them develop ways to remind themselves to take their daily medications. MPN is not case management but does provide support, information, and referrals to case managers. MPN closely supports YMSM living with HIV to ensure that they link to and stay in care. Project sponsored activities encourage YMSM throughout the community to support their friends living with HIV to talk with a Coordinator or the MPN so that they receive services that will support them to link to, stay in, or re-engage in HIV healthcare and treatment, and to take their medications. 

Join us online.

Twitter / @mpcaps 

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

3 important things to think about before implementing your Mpowerment Project

Before implementing a Project, we cannot emphasize enough the importance of thinking through the following: 

1) how to obtain adequate funding for the Project; 
2) what qualifications and characteristics are needed in the people who will be hired to run it; and 
3) what options exist in the community for a distinct Project space.

Our research has shown that organizations that strategize and plan ahead are much more effective at implementing the Mpowerment Project than organizations that do not.

RELATED:  What is the Mpowerment Project? Download Module 1: Mpowerment Overview for free here
United Black Ellument (U-BE), Mpowerment Dallas TX
Securing Adequate Funding

Implementing the Mpowerment Project requires substantially more resources than educational programs that deliver AIDS 101 talks, street outreach, or brochure distribution. If you plan to implement the Mpowerment Project, you need to have funding for at least one full time Coordinator, but it is better to have at least another half-time Coordinator (and our research shows that two full-time staff is by far preferable). And importantly, when we talk about time spent on the Mpowerment Project, it does not include time working on HIV testing and counseling

In addition, it is important to find a space to house the Project. Without a sufficient budget to support the expenses of staff and Project space, it will be difficult to implement the Mpowerment Project very effectively (Download sample Mpowerment Project expenses when you register for free at

RELATED3 important reasons for having a separate space for the Mpowerment Project

The Project’s goals are to reduce sexual risk behavior and increase knowledge of current HIV sero-status among young gay and bisexual men by developing a strong, healthy, empowered community of men who support each other in reducing their sexual risk behavior, in getting HIV testing, using condoms or obtaining PrEP getting into and/or maintaining their health-care if one is living with HIV as well as functioning successfully in the larger society where heterosexuality is the norm. With respect to implementing the Mpowerment Project, the agency’s objectives include recruiting, hiring, and supervising staff; securing and maintaining an adequate Project space; coordinating the Core Group; sponsoring effective Social Outreach activities; and diffusing norms of safer sex and testing throughout the entire young gay and bisexual men’s community. Considering the scope of Project objectives and activities, it should be clear why at least one full-time staff member is a necessity, and why two full-time staff members are preferable to implement the intervention successfully.

Click to enlarge

An agency needs to be creative and resourceful in generating adequate funding for the Project. Many, if not most, HIV Prevention Planning Councils have identified young gay/bisexual men as a high priority for prevention services. The Mpowerment Project is listed in the CDC’s Compendium of HIVPrevention Interventions with Evidence of Effectiveness, which includes programs shown to be effective through rigorous scientific evaluation. The Mpowerment Project is the only HIV prevention intervention that has been tested through rigorous research methods and has been shown to be effective in reducing unsafe sex among young gay/bisexual men. The CDC, which funds many HIV prevention efforts, strongly urges the implementation of programs that have been shown to be effective through research. Thus, referring to the Compendium will add considerable strength to any grant proposals you write. For the same reason, it makes sense to apply for funding to health departments, which are likely to be receptive to any program that research says works. Some local or national foundations may also be interested in funding part of or the entire Project. In addition, it may also be worthwhile to investigate other sources of funding for parts of the intervention, such as community foundation grants, local hospitals, or other local funding mechanisms. In addition, organizations sometimes obtain partial funding from their state health department, and supplement it (for example, for space) from a community grantor or through other fund-raising efforts.

It may not always be necessary to seek new funding sources if agencies are able and willing to reallocate existing funds by modifying current programming. Since the Mpowerment Project may meet the requirements of existing grants, contracts, or program objectives, if the organization already has funding for MSM or gay and bisexual men’s programming, it may be worthwhile to discuss this possibility with the funder.

RELATEDFunding best practices, interview with a funder.

RELATED:  16 Steps for starting the Mpowerment Project in your community.

Join us. Attend the Mpowerment Project training


The implementing agency is responsible for advertising the Project Coordinator positions, and for hiring, training, and supervising these staff members. More than anything else, the success of the Mpowerment Project depends on recruiting and retaining talented and committed young men to coordinate the Project. Through our work with organizations implementing the Mpowerment Project, we have found that this may be the single most important ingredient that leads to success. Consequently, it is essential that the implementing agency invest sufficient time and energy into locating the right staff. Project Coordinators must be outgoing, sociable, comfortable talking to strangers and groups, and passionate about this new way of delivering HIV prevention to young gay and bisexual men. The Coordinators need to be very knowledgeable about the young MSM community, such as what are major segments of the young men’s community, where they hang out and their culture, and this is best achieved by being part of some young gay/bisexual men’s social networks.

Given the staff’s central importance in the Mpowerment Project, it is important that an agency not simply hire people who are already on staff to fill Coordinator positions without carefully considering if they are well qualified for this role. Our research has shown that these positions usually require individuals who are currently from and quite socially active within the MSM community. The characteristics listed above may or may not fit the description of staff who are already at an organization. If they do not have these qualities, a thorough search for suitable staff is imperative. More information about Coordinators’ roles and responsibilities can be found later in this module, as well as in Module 4: Coordinators. Module 4: Coordinators is a free download when you register at 

RELATED: Join us. Attend the Mpowerment Project training

Follow the Q Austin, Mpowerment TX on twitter: @q_austin

Agency policies, attitudes, and environment

The implementing agency must be comfortable with three very basic concepts that are integral to the success of any Mpowerment Project. First, the agency must be comfortable letting the Core Group make decisions for the Project. This is an integral part of the program, since empowering the young gay/bisexual men’s community is central to the program’s purpose.

Second, the implementing agency must be comfortable working with young gay and bisexual men. Although this may sound obvious, in our research we have observed situations where the implementing agency behaved judgmentally towards young gay/bisexual men, and developed policies and procedures that reflected their discomfort. Third, self-defeating attitudes and beliefs held by staff at implementing agencies about HIV prevention with young gay and bisexual men, or about the Mpowerment Project itself is a major barrier to running a successful Mpowerment Project.

We have worked with many agencies who feel that young gay and bisexual men will never change their behavior, that the community is too apathetic to get involved, or that a community-mobilization approach to prevention will never succeed. We acknowledge that HIV prevention can be difficult and frustrating work, but negative beliefs make the work even harder, and they often become self-fulfilling prophecies by dooming a Project before it ever starts.

It may be necessary to change some agency policies in order to implement the Mpowerment Project effectively. As a prime example, agency management must understand that because much of the work of running the Mpowerment Project takes place outside of regular business hours, the Coordinators cannot work regular “nine-to-five” jobs.

In order to reach clients, a large portion of the work needs to be done in the evenings and on weekends. For this reason, management must be prepared to defend the need for Mpowerment Project staff to work these hours, should other agency staff question the absence of Coordinators during regular business hours. Many agencies have actually changed work-hour policies, as well as other policies that may hamper the ability for the Mpowerment Project to be implemented effectively.

MPowerment LI, Long Island New York, NY
Project Space

It is best to decide where the Mpowerment Project will be housed as early as possible in the planning process. Ideally, the space that is selected can suitably host a variety of Project activities, from small group gatherings to larger social events. If the chosen space is shared with others, it is important that the Mpowerment Project have sole use of the space on a frequent and recurring basis. Further, if a shared space cannot be customized to reflect the gay positive/sex positive nature of the Project, a different space should be found. During our research, we learned of Mpowerment Projects that shared space with other programs that balked at openly displaying posters, invitations, and other HIV prevention materials targeting gay/bisexual men. Since it is imperative to have such materials out and freely available to Project participants, these spaces did not work well. The issue of Project Space is discussed in greater detail in Module 6: Project Space.  Module 6 is a free download when you register at

RELATED3 important reasons for having a separate space for the Mpowerment Project.

Join us. Attend the Mpowerment Project training
Read more in Module 3: Implementing Agency, a free download when you register at 

The objectives of Module 3 are to familiarize you with the responsibilities and functions of the implementing agency, including: 

  1. the different types of agencies that host Mpowerment Projects;
  2. suggested guidelines for leadership;
  3. planning for the Mpowerment Project before implementation;
  4. funding issues;
  5. agency policies, attitudes, and environment;
  6. staff selection and training, including sample job descriptions and interview questions;
  7. project supervision; and
  8. creating and maintaining good community relations.