Our Stories

Heather Carmondy, San Diego Volunteer Lawyer Program

“Jeremy came into our office seeking assistance with a Social Security disability appeal. We were amazed that the Social Security administration had denied him not only once, but twice, given the level and severity of his disabilities. So we promptly took his case, we compiled all of the medical evidence, and we submitted  it to the administrative law judge. She made an on the record determination awarding our client benefits and the client was able to avoid the stress of a hearing.

The work that we do for our clients is so important because having the stress of legal issues can affect their health. What we do is we try to eliminate those barriers and make sure that our clients can live healthy, stable, and safe lives.”

San Diego Youth Services

“I’m one of the outreach workers with San Diego Youth Services. We take our van out [into the community] and look for 12-17 year old [homeless youth] who might need assistance. If we’re not able to bring them into the shelter, we can get them blankets, clothes, or personal hygiene items.

They need someone to lend them a hand while they’re out there, that way they know that no one’s given up on them.”

Martina Savedra, Program Director Christie’s Place

“Some of the services we provide include behavioral health counseling, our brilliant peer navigation program, and we also provide our hygiene closet, where [the women] can come in and get those basic needs met.

A lot of things are going through a woman’s head when she is newly diagnosed [with HIV] and we try to help her decipher some of that stuff.”

Joneisha Jones, Our Place Rafiki, San Ysidro Health Center

“[Our program] is Amigos in Rafikis; rafikis means “friend” in Swahili. It’s a group of us who are HIV positive and we go out and spread awareness in the community, we go to different events, we pass out condoms, we talk with the community.

It’s important to save lives and spread awareness, to let people know this could happen to anyone. The best part [of my involvement in the program] is being open about my status because it shocks people and really makes them want to listen to what I’m saying.

Lorena Gurule-Montes, Our Place Program Supervisor, San Ysidro Health Center

We’ve built a reputation in the community of doing good work, so people that traditionally might not know [their status] are excited about our efforts.”

NC LGBTQ Resource Center

“For many of these kids this is the single place that they can come to where they feel truly and always accepted as they are” – Nicole Kent

“The Center for me is a safe space and I just feel more comfortable in this environment” – Client

Fraternity House

“Catching HIV  was the last thing I thought was ever going to happen to me. If it wasn’t for a place like this, I wouldn’t be alive today” – Client

Being Alive

“We also have a recreation program, maybe one of the most important things we have. It gets people out of the house. Most of the people we have would probably end up being shut-ins. They would just not be able to afford to go out anywhere or do anything” – Shannon Wagner

“To keep people living and actually engaged, they need to have a place to go where they feel that and where they feel that they are supported and they are welcome and they are wanted and basically engaging in life” – Shannon Wagner

Stepping Stone

“What they do in working with individuals who are struggling with substance abuse issues, who are struggling to become the people they want to be, it’s really amazing.”  – Tim Brouillette, Stepping Stone Alumni

“When I was newly diagnosed [with HIV], I did not know there was help out there. I went through Stepping Stone and found there was hope for living with HIV.” – Client,Stepping Stone

Sergio Luna, Health Educator, Vista Community Clinic

“Today we saw a client, he came in, we talked about how he heard about PreP, what he knows about it, and we filled in the gaps. Then we set him up with a doctor’s visit, so he’d go in, get some bloodwork done, and once we get all the okays, he walks out the door starting PreP. Just by getting this medication to people we can help them stay healthy and be able to have a long life without any interference or complications.”

Alberto Cortes, Executive Director, Mama’s Kitchen

“It is a community of volunteers coming together to cook, package, and deliver meals to people living with AIDS or cancer and in the process providing 100% of the nutrition needed.”

“The support of organizations like the Human Dignity Foundation is absolutely critical for our existence.”

Katie Wood, Program Coordinator for Solutions for Recovery, Alcohol, and other Drug Treatment Program, Family Health Centers

“Anette came to us, she was broken, she had been in and out of treatment, she had been using for over 30 years, and she had been in and out of jails. When she came to us the last time after being released from jail, she was able to receive a warm hand off directly from Safe Point. They were able to walk her over to our outpatient treatment program, where she enrolled in services. She successfully completed the program, she gave birth to her first clean and sober baby, and she’s remained an active part of our program. She has over and over repeated that Solutions for Recovery has saved her life.”