The supplemental food program is an integral part of the Our House Continuum of Care.
Since 1988, Our House has impacted the lives of over 1,350 people with AIDS. We are the only such program to offer on-site care for people living with HIV/AIDS in Oregon and southwest Washington. Services range from regular in-home visits by clinical staff to 24-hour residential skilled nursing services and a community food pantry. We have over 200 volunteers. Our programs include:
This year Our House has received some prestigious awards for our work:
“AIDS is still here and it should be just as plain as day as cancer--” Our House client. Despite falling out of the headlines, more people than ever live with HIV/AIDS and new infections are diagnosed each year in Oregon. According to the Oregon Department of Health and Human Services:
The food and basic needs program provides vital services to those in need in our community. All of our clients are low income and considered disabled, 79% have a history of mental illness issues and 10% have a history of chronic homelessness. As the number of cases of HIV continues to rise, and the morbidity falls, there are more people than ever living with HIV.
Individuals who access Tod's Corner and Esther's Pantry struggle to get by and often have to make a choice between buying groceries and paying for other critical services such as medication or the heating bill. In addition because of the stigma that exists around HIV/AIDS, many of our clients are afraid to go to any other food bank and will travel significant distances to access our services. Esther's Pantry and Tod's Corner enable these clients to pick out food/personal needs items and stay as healthy and independent as possible. This allows them to focus on other areas of their life without having the added stress of whether they'll have enough money to eat. Without access to nutritional food, their health can destabilize and there is much greater risk of needing to enter a supportive care facility.
Over the past few months, our food donations have increased significantly because of the help of two major grocery stores that donate excess food. Even with the additional donations, however, we are still spending more to meet the always increasing demand for good nutritional food, and necessary personal items and household goods.
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