Today, 7,500 people in Minnesota are living with HIV/AIDS. Fifty percent of them will be homeless or have a housing crisis during the course of their illness. Clare Housing provides affordable housing and supportive services to low-income residents who have experienced homelessness or are at risk of homelessness.
Individuals living at Clare Housing apartments and group homes receive supportive services, such as nursing care, medication administration, hands-on assistance with activities of daily living, and help with building independent living skills.
Our core group of volunteers (Kevin Korell, Tom Ley, David Goettsch. And Patrick Liestman) attended an orientation for their Supper Club program recently. In this program, we go to a group home and serve a meal we prepare either in advance or at their house. This goes one step beyond just serving a meal for folks. It allows for a more traditional "breaking of bread" with the residents in their home where they are comfortable. This allows for us to bring them fellowship, companionship, or just chit-chat. The visit is around 90 minutes once a month. Two of us would cover each month, so with a few more volunteers and on-call backups it might be only once every three or four months.
We are asking for your prayers, of course, and your help. This might be preparing a dish for us to take, coming along for supper and a visit, or cards, crafts, or any other little things we can give or take to brighten the life of the residents. To some of these folks, this may be the only time they get to "feel" supported and loved by community.
On a personal note, as most of you know I have been HIV+ for over 20 years, and while I have not had to use this service, it was something I tried to access when I was significantly ill, however at the time there were not enough spaces for me to get one. Even now with much more capacity there is still a waiting list to get in. These folks are given a chance to get well though Clare, and in many circumstances the only way they will get well. Most of them have $600 or less in monthly income and they are required to pay 30% of that to Clare, so there are needs they still have.
There are also ways to get involved other than the Supper Club via donations, etc. There is a flyer and info pamphlet on the church bulletin board with more info. PLEASE seek out myself or Kevin Korell if you want more info. I will be the main contact for this effort so if you have specific questions or such please email me to let me know. Thank you wonderful people of Parkway for your consideration.