In 1986 a group of caring individuals saw their friends and family members devastated by AIDS and in dire need of support and hope as their health faded. In response HELP was founded to assist with resources for medical care and end-of-life needs. Today advances in treatment have meant that many people with HIV/AIDS are able to live much healthier and longer lives. While HIV no longer means certain death, significant challenges remain. For example, HIV disproportionately affects people of color. In the state of Michigan, African Americans comprise 14 percent of the population, but represent over 59 percent of HIV infections.
Throughout the years HELP has evolved to respond to the changing needs of our community. Today HELP assists individuals who are at-risk, infected, or affected by HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis C. Stigmatization remains a tremendous barrier for individuals who have been marginalized due to health status, sexuality, race, poverty and other factors. Furthermore, substance abuse, mental illness, homelessness and low socio-economic status increase the risks of infection and create additional obstacles to treatment.
Each year HELP assists over 1,200 individuals and families living in Southeast Michigan by providing the following services:
- Food vouchers and nutritional supplements
- Nutritional counseling
- Housing services
- Utility assistance
- Medical case management
- Mental health counseling and emotional support
- Early intervention services
- Education and skills building
- Assistance accessing medical care, medications and other benefits
HELP . . . It’s what we do!