A New Chapter for Clare Housing — March 16, 2012
Twenty-five years ago, the first care home opened its doors in the Twin Cities to provide housing, basic services and care to people living with HIV/AIDS. Over the years, six of these care homes merged into the present-day Clare Housing. There is a rich history with each of these homes but now it is time for Clare Housing to begin a new chapter in the model of care for the people we serve.
On June 30, 2012, the lease between Grace House I and St. Joan of Arc Church will end.
Grace House I has been a caring home for many HIV positive individuals. Many of our friends and family members lived their last days at Grace I. Grace House, AIDS Care Partners and Clare Housing have had a wonderful partnership with St. Joan of Arc Church. St. Joan’s has leased the building to several organizations for just a dollar a year – an amazingly generous contribution.
However, the congregation has grown and their space is limited. The rectory will go through yet another transition and will be used for faith formation programs and potentially to develop a new ministry to the South Minneapolis neighborhood.
This is sad news to receive but we knew that the use of the house was a gift.
We now look to the future. Clare Housing is committed to assuring that current residents of Grace I “land safely.” We are committed to minimizing any negative impact on staff.
When I started ten years ago, Clare Housing had two care homes and served 8 people – today we serve 150 people including 10 families, and have 121 units of supportive housing. I am humbled to work with a dedicated staff, passionate volunteers and a committed board of directors. Together we will reach our vision that all people living with HIV/AIDS in Minnesota have stable affordable housing with the supportive services they need to live a dignified life.
On behalf of the staff, past and current residents and the board of Clare Housing, I thank St. Joan’s for providing a home to hundreds of people who faced incredible challenges. I thank St. Joan’s volunteers for their compassionate effort. We will keep you posted and invite you to a ceremony to mark the transition this spring.