Editor’s note: As part of Xpress’ Nonprofit Issue, we asked local nonprofits to share a bright moment of 2017.
The Western North Carolina AIDS Project provides HIV-related client support, prevention, education and advocacy activities guided by the belief that all people are entitled to equal access to health care and disease prevention.
In the world of HIV treatment, we have a saying: “Housing is health care.” What it means is that it is very difficult to link people living with HIV/AIDS to health care if they do not have stable housing. That’s why we try our utmost to connect our clients with a place to live.
And I’m happy to say that just a few weeks ago, we got three of our clients housed in a single week. That’s in addition to the dozen or so people who found housing through WNCAP in the past year. The look on a person’s face when they realize that they don’t have to sleep on the street or in a shelter that night is indescribable.
The whole community pitched in to donate dishes, blankets, shower curtains, and all those other household items that make a house a home. It is my greatest source of joy, and it truly makes me grateful for all the things in my life I tend to take for granted. At WNCAP, our clients’ success stories are our success stories. And this is a big one.
— Norma Canada-Smith, medical case manager at WNCAP