I am currently on the board of Jerusalem House, a non-profit that is the largest provider of housing for women, men and children living with and affected by HIV and AIDS here in Atlanta.
AIDS Atlanta Walk was originally planned for Saturday, September 26. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, the event was virtual this year. But the good news is that we have until November 30, to raise funds. Jerusalem House is one of the organizations that benefits directly from the AIDS Walk.
Please support me with a donation. Your gift makes a direct impact on my goal to save lives right here in Atlanta from the devastation of HIV/AIDS. Together, we are making a difference!
With COVID-19, housing is life-saving for people living with HIV and AIDS. I want to share “Dexter’s” story, a recent college graduate who credits Jerusalem House with giving him a second chance.
In His Own Words…
In 2009 I attended a housing fair in Atlanta. I stopped by the Jerusalem House booth and a representative told me about their programs for people living with HIV and AIDS. The demand at that time was heavy for housing and I was placed on waiting list. Two years later I was accepted into the Scattered Site II Program.
Life happened and I lost my job. Unable to pay my rent, I was in dire straits and on the verge of becoming homeless. Alexis Blackmon, my Jerusalem House counselor at the time, was genuinely concerned with my mental and physical health and how this crisis would affect my HIV status. She assured me there was no need to worry about becoming homeless as that was my greatest fear at that time. She worked in earnest to help me find another place to live and discovered that I met the qualifications for housing in a different Jerusalem House program – the Adult Program. I met and interviewed with the Housing Manager and my life took a major turn.
The Adult Program provided me a beautiful apartment. I gained peace of mind because I could feel safe and secure. I was able to concentrate on my health, keep up with my medical appointments and take my medication as needed. There was a sense of community with my fellow residents. I became part of a “family” as we celebrated each other’s achievements, had birthday parties and other social activities. I didn’t experience feelings of isolation anymore. I was finally able to enjoy life!
I give a great deal of credit to my Housing Director, Kenny Porter. He became my number one motivator and my biggest supporter. He encouraged me and instilled confidence in me. He also gave me tough love when it was warranted. I will forever be grateful to him.
This summer I graduated from Georgia State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice. I plan to attend graduate school and work towards a Master of Science in Criminal Justice or Cybersecurity. My ultimate goal is to own a Cybersecurity Consulting firm that specializes in IT security, IT support, and Computer Forensics.
I am blessed to be a part of Jerusalem House. The housing and supportive services they provide for people like me, living with HIV/AIDS, is immeasurable. The program staff truly cares, and they will go the distance for you. Because of Jerusalem House I found my purpose and I am truly living my dream.