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MidWeek Staff

Helping Hawaii’s HIV/AIDS Community

By Jonathon Berliner, Executive Director, Gregory House Programs

She is the young woman who just aged out of the foster-care system and is working at the local store before she starts college. They are a husband and wife with two kids who need a rental subsidy to remain housed. His name is Kintaro Yonekura, a man on a journey to change his life as he recovers from addiction. These are the many faces of HIV/AIDS. These are the people Gregory House Programs passionately serves.

In 1988, the nonprofit now known as GHP was formed. We are Hawaii’s statewide HIV/AIDS housing agency, and our mission is to provide affordable housing assistance and supportive services to persons living with HIV/AIDS in Hawaii. During 2013, we provided housing and case management to 280 households, and food to more than 250 clients. One of those clients is Kintaro.

In 2003, he was battling addiction when he discovered he was HIV positive. He became a client and was provided housing and supportive services by GHP. Kintaro then was able to address his substance abuse and come to terms with his HIV status. GHP offers a transitional living program, ongoing subsidies, emergency grants, temporary shelter and nutritional support to help increase quality of life for some of our community’s most vulnerable members.

GHP’s 2014 Kahu Malama Award Dinner and Silent Auction is Sept. 13 at Sheraton Waikiki Hotel’s Leahi Club Lounge. The event will enable GHP to continue to provide critical assistance to people like Kintaro. It also will honor the contributions of Dr. Drew Kovach, a well-respected HIV/AIDS specialist in the community who recently retired after many decades of service.

Sober since 2007, Kintaro subsequently has earned a master’s in social work and is now a well-respected board member in the community. As he put it, “I would not have been able to accomplish my goals had GHP not been there to support me along the way.”

Visit gregoryhouse.org to order your Kahu Malama tickets. For more information, call 592-9022 or email steven@gregoryhouse.org.

Funds raised will go directly to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS and homelessness.

Hawaii charitable organizations may send requests for space in either Proof Positive or the free advertisement below to dchapman@midweek.com.

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