The Red Ribbon Award for 2013 was presented to the Portland Hotel Society (PHS), an organization that develops and supports affordable housing for marginalized adults at risk of homelessness. Liz Evans, the Executive Director of PHS discussed how to reach people living on the “outside” or the margins of society and how to engage them in care, treatment and housing. She explained the roots of PHS; it was born of the realization that when drug users are offered acceptance, respite, dignity and hope, they will live longer, be healthier and live happier lives. The initial hotel worked to meet people where they were psychologically but also physically, and give “unwelcome” people a place to call home. They began to form a network of health care workers who were willing to come to the hotel and provide care to those needing it. Twenty two years later the project has grown from one hotel to 16 different buildings housing 1100 people. She discussed INSITE, a safe injection and medical treatment facility that offers respite, health and educational services. She explained to the audience that she firmly believes in ‘reaching people where they are’ and seeing people for who they really are and not as we want them to be.
CAHR's MISSION IS TO:
- Promote excellence in HIV research
- Foster collaboration and cooperation among HIV research communities, including basic science, clinical science, epidemiology & public health and social science
- Promote education and the development of new researchers
- Provide a unified voice for Canadian HIV researchers and engage diverse stakeholders (community, industry, Government, NGO’s etc.) in ongoing dialogue and knowledge exchange to ensure that HIV research remains responsive to their needs