Clare Housing is one of many priceless organizations in the Twin Cities that serves people living with HIV/AIDS. Its mission is to “provide shelter, services, and compassionate care to adults.”
Founded in 1994, the organization had a humble beginning. Starting in Ramsey County as a four-person home to provide end-of-life care for those with AIDS who no longer could care for themselves, and lacked the support to live at home, it provided loving and accepting care in a home environment.
Today, Clare Apartments In Minneapolis, built in 2005, is a 32-unit subsidized apartment building with voluntary, onsite supportive services. It merged with AIDS Care Partners in 2006 in hopes of combining efforts to address in the best way the many needs of people living with HIV/AIDS.
With the introduction of antiretroviral medications in 1995, people living with HIV/AIDS have reduced needs for the community to supply end-of-life support, something of which Clare Housing is particularly proud. But this advance has not changed the need to have the organization in our community. It now offers transitional care for people who recover from acute medical, mental health, or other crises, and helps them return home. Like the fight against AIDS, Clare Housing has modified its service delivery to accommodate these new needs.
According to Melissa Conray, Director of Development and Communications, Clare Housing is “responding to this increased need for safe, reliable housing, coupled with high-quality, flexible, holistic social services. Clare Housing has developed a comprehensive program of resident-focused, voluntary services located within the context of affordable housing at Clare Apartments, and our six adult foster care homes in Minneapolis and St. Paul.”
Conray reports that an estimated 60 percent of all people with HIV will need housing assistance at some point during the illness. A problem is that the Twin Cities has only a little more than 200 dedicated housing units for people living with HIV/AIDS, while 5,950 people are living with the disease.
Like many who fight against HIV, Clare Housing hopes that it doesn’t become an ongoing problem—that someday, there won’t be a need for an organization like it.
Until then, Conway says, “Clare Housing is committed to creating more affordable housing and supportive services for people living with HIV/AIDS.”
Look for Clare Housing at Pride, where it will have a booth for you to learn more about how to get involved and help. It’s participating in the Red Ribbon Ride, July 17-20, a four-day, 300-mile bike ride benefiting seven local HIV/AIDS organizations, including Clare Housing.
929 Central Ave. NE, Mpls.