A Brief History
Our agency was conceived in 1986 by Barbara Davis because of her work with the issues of death and dying in persons with AIDS. She established one of the first support groups for people living with AIDS in the city. She saw the need for a residential hospice facility where such people could die with dignity and spend their final weeks in a compassionate and caring environment. She brought together a group of interested people, incorporated in 1988 and opened Doug’s House in July of 1989. The hospice was named for Doug Key who was one of the early organizers. Doug later died in 1991. By that time, we were experiencing long wait lists for the services at Doug’s house, and even today twenty-five years later, the occupancy rate continues to run over 90%.
It also became evident that there were other unmet needs within the community…primarily housing! There were many individuals in need of affordable housing in a safe and secure environment. As a result of this need, we began Roosevelt Gardens in 1995, which is a supportive housing program for individuals and families living with HIV/AIDS. The cost of this program was largely supported by the proceeds from our thrift store, Top Drawer, which was opened in 1993 and remains fully operational to this day. Roosevelt Gardens has evolved into a transitional housing program offering a path to independent living for its residents.
In 1998 we opened our independent living facility called Highland Terrace which offers affordable housing to residents living with HIV/AIDS, and in 2002 we started our Community Housing program offering scattered site housing around the city.
No one is denied participation in ANY of our programs because of inability to pay. We are very proud of what we have been able to accomplish with the full support of a caring community.