A few years ago, I received a telephone call. I was nearly asleep and the call was from an acquaintance, somebody I wouldn't ordinarily be expecting to call at all, let alone call so late on Sunday night. When I answered, he was frantic. His son and friends had happened across a man lying in the street, beaten unconscious. As the young boys lifted the man to take him for help, an observer warned them that the man had AIDS; that he was, in fact, beaten up for being an "AIDS-having mother-*@^!er." The father was now frantic that his son had exposed himself to HIV in an attempt to save a stranger. I answered his questions, offered my advice and tried to get to sleep.
A few days later, though, details began to emerge. The man, Reese, was indeed living with AIDS. He had been severely beaten by a few teenage boys, apparently with a tire iron; his AIDS diagnosis was the motive in the assault. His injuries were severe; he required surgery to repair the structural damage in his face (multiple fractures and an eye that was partially out of its socket). Unfortunately, as a result of the beating, Reese suffered from "cognitive dysfunction;" he had virtually no memory and was unable to care for himself. Left on his own, he would be unable to cook or clean and would clearly be unable to manage his complicated medication regimen.
Fortunately, Reese found West House. Surrounded by staff who truly cared about him, all of Reese's daily needs were met: staff prepared his meals, administered his medications, coordinated his complex medical care and ensured that he had a warm, safe place to live.
This story, surprisingly has a happy ending. After about 2 years in our care, Reese was healthy enough to move out on his own. And, although he moved way out of the area, he still calls West House a few times a week to speak with the staff who provided him with the care he needed to reclaim his life.
Unfortunately, as you can imagine, the cost of providing these services is substantial and is increasing by leaps and bounds. And that is why we’re turning to you for help: our heating bill is almost $10,000 a year but you can help for just a few pennies. $1.52 will provide an hour of heat, keeping our 18 beloved residents warm and cozy in their new home. While $1.52 might not sound like much to you, it makes all the difference to those most in need, which is why we started our Hour of Heat Fundraiser. You can give as much or as little as you want, as you see just pennies can make a huge difference.
Please consider participating in this important fundraiser and help us wrap our residents in warmth.
A donation of $1.52 provides one hour of heat.
A donation of $36.48 provides one day of heat.
A donation of $109.44 provides three days of heat.
A donation of $255.36 provides one whole week of heat.