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April 2014 BBH Homefront Newsletter

Tales of Moving Forward

Catching up with clients who now live independently

“I’m living my life. And I’m in great health.” – Ian
“I don’t worry or stress as much over little things. I’m very grateful and fortunate for what I have, what I need.” – Dan
NeeNee recently celebrated her granddaughter’s ninth birthday and wants to give a party for her mother’s 100th birthday.

Good things happen when clients and residents at Bailey-Boushay House take HIV medication successfully. The better they feel, the more hope they have. And hope can motivate people to take courageous steps forward.

“Even at the end of life, we encourage maximum independence,” says Brian Knowles, Bailey-Boushay’s executive director.

The results can amaze.

Just last year, three longtime residents with AIDS — who all originally came for end-of-life care — got better and went home to rebuild their lives. And every year we see clients use outpatient support to turn their lives around.

One step leads to another

“We help people do as much as they can for themselves,” Brian says. “And they start to see how much they are capable of doing.”

Do the names Dan H., Ian, Jacob and NeeNee sound familiar? Past newsletters described how they started building more stable and independent lives as their health improved.

All four continue to improve their lives and life skills with support from the Bailey-Boushay community. This Homefront brings updates on their progress. Their news is good.

Change requires lots of support

Jacob was HIV-positive at 14. By 25 he struggled with addiction and was frequently homeless. His immune system barely functioned.

He moved forward very quickly once he embraced all the support services available here. Last July, after half a year in outpatient care, he exuberantly reported: “My life turned around 180 degrees.”

How’s Jacob doing nine months later?

Even better. He’s working full-time. “I love working now,” he says. “I’m feeling well, too.”

He’s cut back his Bailey-Boushay time from seven days to once a week. “That has been bittersweet,” he says, “because it’s [about] getting my life back.”

Jacob believes he will always need Bailey-Boushay and the people. He still helps out as a peer counselor to support his own recovery. “I tell [other clients]: Keep dreaming and hoping. Keep working on it and eventually it will happen.”

Change can take a lot of time

Dan has been coming to Bailey-Boushay off and on since 2001. For much of that time, he was homeless and not taking medication for HIV or mental illness.

“Life in general is better. Now I’m happy to work and pay my own bills.” – Jacob

His forward motion started in 2010 when he accepted help to take medication correctly, joined an addictions group, and participated in Tool Time life-skills sessions.

On March 5, 2011, Dan moved into subsidized housing through a Veterans Administration program.

How’s Dan doing three years later?

He’s content and living in the same studio apartment he got in 2011. He still picks up his pills every day at Bailey-Boushay. He’s clean and sober. Now he’s trying to give up the last of his compulsive behaviors—smoking cigarettes.

Health remains a daily concern, especially since a recent diabetes diagnosis. Still, Dan feels “pretty good.” He’s thinking about part-time or volunteer work.

Does he ever worry about being homeless again?

“Things are going so well,” Dan says. “Sometimes I wonder: When’s the shoe going to drop? I pretty much have faith that if I live in the here and now, things are going my way. I have all this back-up now.”

Community helps people cope with change

After years of living with relatives, NeeNee took a big step toward independence. She moved into a facility with rooms for homeless women.

But in 2011 she was thinking of leaving the facility because she felt sharing a kitchen, bath and laundry gave her no privacy.

How’s NeeNee doing three years later?

NeeNee has kept her room at the facility. And she politely keeps to herself when she’s there.

“It’s not community to me,” she says. “My only communities are Bailey-Boushay and POCAAN (People of Color Against AIDS Network).”

She comes to Bailey-Boushay five days a week now to pick up her medication. And she stays to enjoy an accepting community she feels part of.

“I like everybody here,” she says. And she clearly values being known and welcomed. “When I take days off, people say: Where you been? We were looking for you!”

Change can be better than expected

Ian entered residential care at Bailey-Boushay in 2011. A diabetic, he needed wound care and physical therapy following surgery that removed the front part of his foot.

He’d always worked and lived on his own. So, after a year in care, he felt nervous about leaving Bailey-Boushayto live in an assisted-living facility. It was a comfort to know he could return for outpatient support services.

How’s Ian doing two years later?

Very well. He’s accepted his limits (including risk of falling, a history of strokes, and memory issues) and he’s excited about the future.

“I’m living my life,” Ian say,. “and I’m in great health.” His dream is to travel again. (His doctor says: Go for it!)

He’s especially grateful for his client bus pass: “It allows me mobility to go out, do things, and pursue my interests. It’s another blessing from Bailey-Boushay.”

Every day Ian reads a plaque on his wall that gently reminds him:

This, too, shall pass. Look up. Have faith.
And keep moving forward.

Note: All outpatient services (except salaries for nurses and some social workers) are funded exclusively by Bailey-Boushay donors. Our clients and staff thank you for making this life-changing support possible.

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Wells Fargo Support for Outpatient Program

Wells Fargo Support
  Wells Fargo representatives present the grant to Brian Knowles, Bailey-Boushay House executive director, and Bailey-Boushay House volunteers, staff and clients.

For the past four years, Bailey-Boushay House has been honored to be a recipient of a grant from Wells Fargo. As an organization actively involved in the communities where its employees live and work, Wells Fargo is committed to supporting local nonprofit organizations. A testament to their commitment to philanthropy, Wells Fargo invested $3.3 million in Washington state and $275.5 million nationwide last year. Washington state Wells Fargo employees are also invested in their communities and last year volunteered 33,000 hours to help make our communities stronger and brighter.

Wells Fargo supports organizations that are creating solutions for local needs, and Bailey-Boushay House’s Outpatient Program is an excellent example of this type of work. The Outpatient Program provides assistance and support to those in our community living with HIV/AIDS, many of whom also struggle with homelessness. BBH staff work with clients on establishing routines to make it easier to take their life-saving medication. Over the last four years, this program has been extremely successful as the average daily adherence rate has been above 95 percent − significantly higher than most other programs where the rate is 50 percent at best.

Thanks to the support of donors and organizations like Wells Fargo, Bailey-Boushay House can continue to provide the highest quality services and support to those in our community with HIV/AIDS who need it most.

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Calendar of Events: 

  • May 6 | GiveBIG
  • May 20 | Evening at Bailey-Boushay House
  • June 29 | Gay Pride Parade
  • Late September | Lifelong AIDS Alliance
  • November | Memorial Service
  • December 1 | World AIDS Day
  • Save the Date! January 18 | Chefs’ Dinner 2015

GiveBIG is May 6

Bailey-Boushay House is excited to be part of one of the biggest days of philanthropy - The Seattle Foundation’s GiveBIG Day.

When you make a donation of any amount via the Seattle Foundation’s website to Bailey-Boushay House between 12 a.m. and midnight on Tuesday, May 6, your gift will be stretched by a partial matching gift, increasing the impact of your contribution.

Don’t forget to GiveBIG on May 6 for Bailey-Boushay House!

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