By Dawn Wolfe Gutterman
DETROIT – Health Emergency Lifeline Program moved to a new location in December, and on June 9 the AIDS service provider hosted an Open House to re-introduce itself to the community.
Roughly 70-80 funders, members of other human service agencies and members of community-based AIDS service organizations accepted the invitation, said Teresa Roscoe, HELP’s Executive Director.
“It went very well. We were very pleased to have people come in to learn about us, and it was also an opportunity for the attendees to connect,” Roscoe said of the event.
Given changes in federal funding for AIDS, Roscoe said, “Collaboration among providers is vital to effectively meet needs in the community and strengthen the continuum of care. Events like our open house provide opportunities to share ideas, spark innovations and enhance the resources available for our clients.”
Joe Piersante, director of case management for AIDS Partnership Michigan, was excited both by HELP’s new location and by the agency itself.
“It was an incredible experience to be there, having been to their old building. I was just so excited to see that the new facilities are so much more accessible to handicapped folks,” said Piersante, who noted that the new facility is on a ground floor and is in what he called a “safer location for clients to visit and access services.” HELP moved because the Archdiocese of Detroit closed the building that housed its former home.
“I’ve been working at APM five years, and HELP has been, honestly, the best agency I have dealt with as far as being able to access emergency services for clients. They’re right on it. They’re so easy to deal with. I love them,” he said.
HELP offers a food bank and emergency financial services including money for rent, utility payments, and medications. In its new, larger home, the agency is also offering financial and nutritional classes and working with DTE Energy’s THAW program to help low-income people living with AIDS pay their heating bills. The agency is located at 1726 Howard in Detroit. For more information about the agency call 313-832-3300.