"I'm just so elated and so happy. I'm just thanking God, and everybody."
What does getting a second chance sound like? One of our newest residents Akhenaton kindly let us share the voice mail message he left for Michel Boyer, our program director, after she let him know that he had a new home at Clare Housing.Akhenaton had been homeless and struggling with chemical dependency for years. Finally, he met a group of people who told him for the first time in his 50 years of life that he was worthwhile. That he was smart. That if he tried, he just might be able to make it.
AKHENATON KNOCKED ON WHAT FELT LIKE A 1,000 DOORS
His new support group told him that there were people out there who were willing to help him get the basic things he needed, like housing, if he could just show those people he was there to do the work.
"People told me," Akhenaton shared, "That you have to start knocking on doors. You might need to knock on a thousand. But one of them will open just a crack. And if it does, you can show them you're worth that chance."
THANKS TO YOU, THE DOOR THAT OPENED WAS OURS
One of the doors that Akhenaton knocked on was Clare Housing's. And we're so glad he did. It gave Michele the opportunity to get to know him. What she saw was a chance well worth taking.
As Akhenaton said in his voice mail message to Michele, "I just hope that other people get this opportunity...Everyone deserves a chance, every man, every woman...white, black, Mexican, Indian...it doesn't matter, every human being deserves the opportunity to prove themselves. Thanks for letting me prove myself. I won't let you down."
YOU HAVE A SECOND CHANCE, TOO. NOW THROUGH DECEMBER 31, YOU CAN DOUBLE ANY GIFT MADE TO SUPPORT AKHENATON AND RESIDENTS LIKE HIM.
During Give to Max is the perfect time to double your donation! All new and increased donations will be matched now through December 31st thanks to the Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation. Your gift may also win a drawing of up to $10,000 as a part of the Give to the Max Golden Ticket drawing.
Thanks for making your Gift to the Max donation today!
WHO WE ARE & WHAT WE DO
Clare Housing is an innovative leader of supportive housing for people living with HIV/AIDS for the past three decades. During the past 30 years, we have housed over 600 people living with and affected by HIV/AIDS.
We provide more dedicated housing to people living with and affected by HIV than anyone else in the state of Minnesota. Why does housing matter for people living with HIV?
Put simply, housing equals healthcare. Housing provides the stable environment needed to help people successfully manage the illness. An average of 88% of our residents have an undetectable amount of HIV. Compare that to around 67% for the state of Minnesota and only 30% for the United States!
Not only does getting people to “undetectable” help the individual person live a better life, it saves tax-payers money that would otherwise be spent on costly emergency room visits, AND it is crucial to stopping the spread of HIV. There's a growing body of research that shows that undetectable status means that HIV is virtually untransmittable by someone who has achieved that status.
Dr. Jeff Flynn, MD at North Memorial Hospital says it best, “What Clare Housing is doing is working. What we need to do is more of it.”