Hope Center’s mission is to provide the necessary tools, knowledge, and resources to the HIV community at no cost to the client. The goal is to increase access to care, and to decrease stigma and raise awareness. We are committed to providing a safe and judgment-free environment for persons infected or affected by HIV.
To help serve our mission, Hope Center provides financial assistance for those who qualify. In 2017 Hope Center served our clients 185 times with food cards, transportation and utility assistance totaling $14,124. Once a month our clients also have the opportunity to visit our hygiene pantry. The pantry includes shampoo, conditioner, soap, toilet paper, deodorant, lotion, razors, and other personal hygiene products, allowing clients to use their food cards for food instead of personal care items. The pantry also has some clothing and housewares that have been donated by the community. Sixty-five clients were able to visit the pantry in 2017.
Most of Hope Center’s clients are able to make an appointment and come to the office, however that is not possible for all clients. Hope Center Resource Specialist Lori Jordan performed 74 home visits in 2017. The clients she visited had little or no transportation available to come to the office, or were ill and unable to come in. These visits are often beneficial for assessing clients’ needs, and many have led to additional services or referrals for clients.
Because Hope Center is part of Covenant Health, we have a network of hospitals and service lines that we work with. Referrals come in for many reasons: a new diagnosis, the patient may be out of care and needs referrals back to treatment, or the patient may have an issue that is unrelated to HIV but could use a friendly face and helpful hand. In 2017, Lori visited the hospitals 17 times to help clients.
Besides working with our hospitals, Lori is active with other agencies in the HIV community. Lori was elected to the board of directors at Goodman Powell Young Apartments, which is a housing community for HIV-positive individuals. Lori was also elected to chair the East Tennessee HIV Planning Council this year and will serve a three-year term. Lori is an active member of the Faith Coalition, working with faith-based organizations addressing HIV stigma and discrimination. She helped establish and co-facilitates the Women’s HIV Support Group and works with other HIV agencies to ensure clients’ needs are met.