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June 20, 2010

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June 20, 2010

I first began working with the Atlanta Harm Reduction Center as part of a project for my MBA program. A team of MBA students and I developed a strategy to help improve the organization's external communications. As a student of healthcare management with some understanding of the state of healthcare needs in the Atlanta area, I was immediately drawn to this organization's mission. The AHRC and its staff help to improve the health status of one of the most depressed communities I've seen in Atlanta. And they do so in a culturally competent and compassionate manner. Many of the people helped by the AHRC often return as volunteers, which speaks to the quality of the services offered and speaks to the quality of the client experience. Because of their success in helping to reduce HIV/AIDS transmission and drug addiction in this often forgotten northwest Atlanta community, the AHRC has become an essential component of the Atlanta public health system.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Visiting the center. The organization consistently has people from the community stop by for HIV testing. The several time's I've visited, the lobby was busy with people getting tested.

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How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

June 18, 2010

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June 18, 2010

I became acquainted with AHRC when they served the English Avenue area known as the Bluff but were temporarily housed in a Candler Park church. I was a sociology graduate student working on my dissertation on heroin users. About than ten years later, as a professor with a research grant, I contacted AHRC in their new home and we collaborated in research goals to better understand the lives of older drug users and the barriers to health care and social services faced by their clients. I was pleased to see the expansion of their work. While AHRC started with an SEP focus, currently they offer a tiered program that goes well beyond syringe exchanges. Activities include sponsoring women’s groups, men’s groups, testing and counseling for HIV, TB and syphilis. The staff provides food, showers and clean clothing at the building, and delivers food as outreach to home-bound neighbors. On request, AHRC staff provides referrals to substance abuse treatment, medical services and methadone providers. In an effort to fulfill their mission statement to improve the wellbeing of marginalized individuals, AHRC staff is working hard to provide linkage to employment and housing. The unique approach of the AHRC staff in assuring the inclusion, participation, and rights of the most marginalized of citizens—destitute and homeless drug users—is worth our attention and support. Their community-based prevention and wellness intervention contributes to our united goal of meaningfully addressing contemporary social problems.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I have a better understanding of the community and population I study thanks to AHRC, and hopefully I will translate this knowledge into policy change to help this population.

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How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

June 17, 2010

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June 17, 2010

I began volunteering with AHRC in 2007 and have been involved with the organization ever since. AHRC provides a life-line to people living in the Bluffs community by providing services to people who are often neglected and marginalized in society. Whether they are offering a free meal, clothing, risk reduction kits, shelter from the heat or cold, or an ear to listen, they do so in a non-judgmental, caring way. I love the work that this organization does, and am so proud to be a part of the AHRC family!

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

bringing change into the Bluffs community.

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How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

June 14, 2010

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June 14, 2010

I have the distinct pleasure of being born in the English Avenue community. The opportunity to work with Atlanta Harm Reduction Coalition on their 15th Anniversary gave me insight into the many ways that they are assisting that community in helping people to find housing and get health assistance that most persons are not aware of. The most impressive thing about this organization was the PEOPLE which work and operate this center. They are warm, friendly people who relate extremely well with members of this community. My most memorable moment was when they had a 70 year old female who had some health issues and was homeless. They worked diligently to find her a place to live and also to contact and get her health resources which she really needed. Ms. Gaines put everything else to the side to give this lady her full attention. By the way she had a very heavy case load, but this elderly lady went to the top of the list. I also attend church in the English Avenue community and several church members volunteer with Atlanta Harm Reduction because of the very positive things that they are making happen. I look forward to working with them in the future and offer volunteer services whenever they call. I have sent several persons who live in that area to them for assistance.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

many ways. I know several persons that have received assistance from this organization and are still getting help.

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How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every six months

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

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