A letter from the founders of
Aids Resource Foundation for Children
The AIDS Resource Foundation for Children is honored to have the support of One Step Closer and its hardworking planning committee and performers. We are encouraged by the passion and commitment shown by supporters toward the work of our mission. HIV/AIDS directly affects over a million people in the United States, and the disease continues to change the lives of children and families living in all our communities and neighborhoods.
The mission of the AIDS Resource Foundation for Children is to meet the changing needs of families impacted by HIV/AIDS and medically fragile children through comprehensive holistic services. Founded in 1986, the ARFC’s goal was to provide safe and caring homes to orphaned HIV positive infants boarding in hospitals. At that time, medical professionals were unable to provide treatment for these babies and growing fear and stigma prevented them from receiving foster care or becoming adopted. The AIDS Resource Foundation for Children saw a need for loving homes and opened the first transitional facility in the country for babies with HIV/AIDS, called the St. Clare’s Home in Elizabeth, NJ. In the 22 years since the original St. Clare’s Home opened, the organization has increased its services to meet the growing needs of families affected by the virus.
Today, the AIDS Resource Foundation for Children operates 3 St. Clare’s Homes and a wide array of comprehensive social services for families impacted by HIV/AIDS. These services include medical and mental healthcare, safe and affordable housing, intensive case management, support groups, substance abuse prevention, and services to at-risk youth.
Thank you for considering a contribution toward this meaningful opportunity. Through your support of the One Step Closer event, the AIDS Resource Foundation for Children is indeed one step closer to ensuring that all individuals impacted by the virus can receive family-centered care with dignity and respect.
Our best wishes,
Dr. Terrence and Faye Zealand
Co-Founders and Executive Directors
501(c)3 Non-profit EIN 22-2696986
Programs & Services
Over the past 20 years, the AIDS Resource Foundation for Children has grown into an organization that provides support to HIV/AIDS infected and affected children of all ages and their families. Today, children are faced with many temptations to choose the wrong path in life. Making the right decision can be very difficult and is even more difficult for those children whose lives have been complicated by HIV/AIDS. It is our goal to be there for these very special children and their families at the most critical points in their lives.
St. Clare's Homes for Children
In 1985, following the loss of a close friend to AIDS, Terry and Faye Zealand began to search for a way to honor their friend's memory. During a tour of United Hospital in Newark, Terry and Faye met an orphaned two-year old girl infected with HIV. The child was forced to remain in a hospital setting since there was no one yet identified and able to act as a foster parent. It was then that Terry and Faye focused their mission on helping homeless children with AIDS. In 1987, ARFC opened its first St. Clare's Home in Elizabeth, New Jersey and soon after opened two more homes in Jersey City and Neptune. Since 1987, the Homes have helped over 1,000 babies.
Today, ARFC's three St. Clare's Homes for Children offer transitional care for medically fragile babies and children who would otherwise be boarding in New Jersey's hospitals or living at risk in the community. The children are cared for in a loving home-like environment by trained health care workers. The primary goal of the program is to reunite the babies with their biological families. If this is not possible, the staff assists the Division of Youth and Family Services in placing these children in kinship or foster care homes with the goal of permanent placement.
St. Clare's Social Services
Soon after opening St. Clare's Homes for Children, the staff of ARFC identified a need to provide continuing services to the children and support their families once they left the homes. Headquartered in Newark, New Jersey, St. Clare's Social Services was opened to provide supportive services to the HIV impacted families in New Jersey.
St. Clare's Social Services provides HIV infected and affected families with case management to match clients with available services. It also offers individual and family counseling, group support, and summer camp. Additional services include transportation to medical appointments, an emergency food pantry, family socials, and substance-abuse prevention services.
St. Clare's Housing Program
Committed to finding family-based solutions to problems associated with the HIV epidemic, in 1993 ARFC began providing housing support to families coping with the AIDS virus. With a grant from Ryan White Housing Opportunities for People with AIDS (HOPWA), ARFC began providing rental and utility assistance to its clients in need.
The success of the housing program led to its expansion with the purchase of 40 housing units in Newark, Irvington, and Orange, New Jersey that were renovated by ARFC and rented to clients with the opportunity of ownership after several years. St. Clare's Housing Program continues to ensure that children infected or affected by HIV/AIDS have a chance to live in a safe and supportive environment.
Housing as Healthcare:
The Future of ARFC's Housing Initiative
The AIDS Resource Foundation for Children is embarking on a much anticipated $13,000,000 housing initiative for the homeless living with HIV/AIDS in Newark, NJ.
For people living with HIV, stability in housing is the key to treatment adherence and maintaining strong family support. The ARFC is pleased to announce the first phase of the housing initiative—placing at least 31 individuals and families living with HIV/AIDS into affordable and desirable housing by the end of 2009. Over the next 10 years, ARFC’s housing units are attached to $5,000,000 in subsidies and all tenants will receive comprehensive support services for their families. At the end of the project, St. Clare’s Home Properties will own and manage 142 units specifically for homeless people living with HIV/AIDS and their families.
The ARFC will cotinue to need your support to make this initiative a success!