Hope House for HIV/AIDS patients at risk of shutting down

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Neighbors living with HIV or AIDS say the Hope House in Manheim Township is saving their lives.  It’s been open since 1993.

As Monica Butcher celebrates her 55th birthday outside, she recalls a more painful birthday birthday anniversary.

“I was diagnosed on my birthday, 19 years ago,” says Monica.

She was diagnosed with AIDS and looking for help.

She says, “I came here more or less to pass away and by the grace of god, and good care we get here this is a very good place.”

Monica came to the Hope House on Crescent Avenue, in Lancaster, in 1994.  It’s a living facility that provides people with HIV or AIDS a chance to work and stay healthy.

Monica says the house, “helps me be accountable to take my meds everyday.”

But the house is at risk of shutting down.

Rachel Weiss is the house Director.  She says, “If everybody gave a little bit that would add up.”

Weiss says $200,000 are needed to sustain operations through this year.

“They’re going to be on the street and go back to their high risk behaviors and they’re going to die,” says Weiss.

If the Hope House remains open, Monica’s birthday wish is granted.

“I’m not alone because there’s all kinds of people living here, and we’re all just like one big family,” says Monica.

Weiss say 12 employees are at risk of losing their jobs.  If the Hope House were to close, eight people would be homeless.

For more information on the Hope House, or if you would like to donate, call (717) 293-9089.

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