One of my clinic placements this semester is at Hope House. We do prevention work with the preschool, focusing on language and pre-literacy skills. I absolutely love this placement. Hope House is special in that it assists HIV-impacted children. The children either have a parent with HIV or are HIV positive themselves.
Hope House was founded in 1994, and it’s the only daycare in the state that’s exclusively dedicated to helping HIV-impacted children and their families. Sadly, Memphis has the 3rd highest rate of AIDS among all metropolitan areas. This city has the fastest growing rate of HIV infection in adolescents in the entire country.
There is so much stigma and discrimination associated with HIV. Many of these affected people are forced to keep their condition a secret from friends, family members, and employers. Part of Hope House’s mission is to educate the public on HIV, including how it’s spread (and how it’s not) and how it affects the lives of those infected.
These very special children deserve to have every opportunity in the world. If you’d like to learn more about Hope House, you can check it out here. I’ve absolutely loved reading books, singing songs, and making crafts with these kids.