Allan has been living with HIV for 25 years. Three years ago, when he was at risk of being homeless, Fife House gave him a safe place to get back on his feet.
“I had lost everything and I was seriously ill, I didn’t have any support – no family or anything,” he said. “I found Fife House thankfully through their homeless outreach program.”
The biggest change for Allan (who did not want his last name used), has been having a home that is safe and secure.
“It’s provided me with a container to get better,” said Allan. “When you’re quite sick you can easily be taken advantage of, here I’m able to shut my door and have control over my environment – it’s all wonderful, it’s really life changing.”
Fife House is a community-based agency in Toronto that provides housing and support for people and families with HIV/AIDS and is the recent recipient of the Casey Award, an award that celebrates individuals and organizations that demonstrate leadership in the fields of HIV/AIDS and social justice across Canada.
Executive director Keith Hambly said there is an increasing need for more supportive housing for people with HIV/AIDS.
“If you look at our homeless outreach program there are people who are looking for better housing, who are homeless, who are living in the shelter system – they are not living in a place they can call their home,” said Hambly.
Allan said the best thing you can do is ask for help.
“In terms of this reality, the organization is tremendous,” he said. “Very non-judgmental, very supportive, and they do what they can and more.”