We're a non profit in SE DC, located East of the Anacostia River on Pennsylvania Avenue. Our goal: transform our community one project at a time. Our mission: HIV prevention and education through community outreach.
With all the other issues faced by the neighborhoods of SE DC, from high unemployment to homelessness, why is our focus HIV?
At least 3% of DC's population is known to be positive for the virus. But with 25% of Americans having, and spreading, the illness without knowing it, the actual statistic is far higher. Living in the city with the top HIV/AIDS rate in the country, knowing your status and your partner's status is a necessity. And if you test positive, it's vital to get the services you need to stay healthy and prevent transmission.
That's where we come in. Our community has been hardest hit by the epidemic - and has been largely ignored. So we spread the word about this crisis, operating eight mobile testing units and parking them on street corners, in parking lots - anywhere people congregate in our community. And we talk to them about how to prevent transmission and encourage them to get tested - right there, right then. If they test positive, we make sure they get linked to the care and services they need.
And that's just one of our projects.
Each quarter, we train 10-30 recently incarcerated or high-risk individuals to become community health workers as part of our CHAMPS program. The "we" in the last paragraph? Many of our top outreach staff are graduates of this program, giving back to their community and dedicating themselves to saving lives.
Stay tuned for more on what we do and how we do it - and feel free to contact us anytime.