A model of hope: our HIV/AIDS Ministry

The Youngstown City Health Department presented at a symposium we offered clients in November 2022

For 30 years, the Ursuline Sisters HIV/AIDS Ministry has been a stable source of comfort, care, and support to those we serve.

About 800 people in Mahoning, Trumbull and Columbiana counties are living with HIV. More than half of them count on our program for crucial medical care, and more than 400 people count on us regularly for food and household supplies.

Thanks to community support, we were able to add additional services last year. We began providing food to patients when they visit the clinic, and expanded our Peer Support Staff, who help patients access other resources available in the community and provide consistent emotional support.

Despite the fact that the number of patients we serve increased 15% in 2022, we continued to provide food, advocacy, empowerment, transportation to medical appointments, linguistic services, flu shots, COVID-19 vaccines, and now MPox vaccines.

Through our Cafe and pantry program, we provided groceries to 75 families so that they could host Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s holiday gatherings for their friends and families.

Our staff and volunteers embrace people, literally and figuratively, to fulfill our mission of respect, compassion, hospitality, and hope. We respect and protect our patients’ privacy so that patients decide when, and if, they share their HIV status with anyone. We show compassion to all who come to us, without any judgment, which includes hugs and sharing meals. We show hospitality by welcoming clients to our clinic and food pantries.

We know that our patients can live long, productive, and healthy lives, and we give them the hope they need to know it’s true.