In Houston, Noel Twilbeck, the head of N.O. AIDS Task Force in New Orleans, Louisiana's largest AIDS agency, works out of borrowed space at the LGBT-serving Montrose Clinic, struggling to salvage his agency of 1,200 clients and 68 staffers, many of whom have lost homes and are scattered all over the region. He wonders if, amidst the chaos, he can sustain the funding stream needed to maintain the agency, whose six sites around New Orleans were spared major damage with the likely exception of one, a food pantry. "Our largest fundraiser, the AIDS Walk, was scheduled for September 25, so we're trying to stage a 'virtual walk,'" he says.

What's more, the agency's Ryan White grant administrator cut off their funding at the height of the crisis, and even though it's beginning to deliver treatment, care and support services again, Twilbeck hasn't gotten a clear answer when, or if, funding will recommence. "People are calling in scrips again through the pharmacy we contract with," he says, "but I haven't gotten reimbursed $250,000 from July and August yet. My staff and I are exhausted," adds Twilbeck. "We've got a long road ahead." [See the end of this story to learn where to donate to agencies in need.]

Meanwhile, in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, 50 miles inland from the devastated coast, Haven House , an AIDS residence, has been left without a roof, ravaged by Katrina's 130-MPH winds. "We have a tarp on it and we're praying for sunshine," said executive director Kathy Garner, who was waiting to meet with roofers when AIDS Issues Update phoned this week. "I don't know the cost yet of the repair, though we do have insurance. We're funded through HUD but as a non-profit, we're always strapped." The residence, which can accommodate 10 PWAs but was housing only one when the storm hit, hopes to re-open by the end of September and has been working with local Red Cross staffers to reach out to the area's influx of PWAs from New Orleans. "We don't have land lines or Internet yet," Garner adds. "And we have to restock our freezers." ...