Broward County has some of the highest numbers of people living with HIV in the U.S. As of 2021, approximately 21,014 people (or 10% of residents) in Broward County had HIV.
Individuals with HIV are not only heavily impacted by health issues, but also by the social stigma that is associated with HIV. People who are HIV-positive are more likely to experience mental health issues, homelessness, and other challenges that can create serious barriers, preventing them from receiving the quality healthcare they deserve.
One non-profit in South Florida, Broward House, has helped more than 6,000 individuals in Broward County by operating a treatment facility, leading prevention efforts, and providing support to people living with HIV and other chronic health issues.
About Broward House
Broward House was established in 1988 with the goal of improving the quality of life for people impacted by HIV. They operate a 72-bed assisted living program across 14 properties that house people who are HIV positive as well as their families.
Housing is a core component of their services, but they recognize that housing is only the beginning. Individuals with HIV require an array of support services in order for true healing to occur. This is the philosophy that has led to Broward Houses’ expansion to a full range of support, behavioral health, prevention, healthcare services, and food assistance from their Free Farmers Market.
The services provided by Broward House take leaps toward destigmatizing HIV. Stacy Hyde, the CEO, explains that she once had a client say to her, “I wish I had cancer instead of HIV, so people would care about me”. Stacy explains that it is difficult to ask for help when there is shame, but that Broward House is “looking to each person in the community to create understanding in their own circles so that if someone they know is living with HIV, they feel safe to say I need care. It will take each of us to eliminate stigma. No one should lack care simply because of the name of a disease”.
While Broward House is known for its STD testing and assisted living program, their services don’t stop there. They also provide support for substance abuse, mental health, homelessness, and food insecurity.
According to Brielle Gordon, Social Media Coordinator at Broward House, “we don’t turn anyone away. Even if there is something you need that we don’t offer, we will connect you to the right resources”.
Fundraising for Broward House
Broward House has two fundraisers each year. The first is Dining Out for Life, in which restaurants help raise awareness and funds in April. A percentage of proceeds for one whole day goes to Broward House. There are currently three participating restaurants in Oakland Park: Tatts and Tacos, Cielito Lindo, and Cucina Caruso.
The second fundraiser is the SMART Ride which is a 2-day bike ride from the University of Miami to Key West in November. The money is split evenly among a handful of benefitting agencies, one of which is Broward House. People who are interested in signing up to volunteer, ride, or be part of the crew, can sign up at thesmartride.org and join Broward House’s team, “Give a Shift.”
Serving the Community
You don’t have to have HIV to benefit from Broward Houses’ services. One of the most important services they offer is free HIV/STD testing. Brielle explains that “you don’t know your status until you get tested, and we make testing safe, comfortable, confidential, and most importantly, free”.
Another way Broward House serves the South Florida community is through its Free Farmers Market which started in July 2022. The farmers market is held every Saturday from 9 AM – 12 PM at 501 SE 18th Ct, Fort Lauderdale. Anyone who is facing food insecurity is welcome to register with them and get fresh produce.
A Message from the CEO
Stacy Hyde has an important message for people living with or affected by HIV:
The best way to get in touch with Broward House for support is to call them at 954-568-7373 or walk into their facility at 2800 N Andrews Ave in Wilton Manors. Even if they can’t serve you that day, you’ll know what your next steps are before you walk out the doors.