MISSION AND HISTORY
DOORWAYS is an interfaith non-profit organization which provides housing and related supportive services to improve quality of life and health outcomes for people affected by HIV/AIDS.
Safe affordable housing, which is critical for diverse individuals during various phases of health and illness, has become a pressing need. DOORWAYS serves all people affected by HIV/AIDS regardless of age, color, creed, physical or mental disability, ethnicity, familial status, gender identity and expression, national origin, race, religion, pregnancy, sex or sexual orientation.
Through direct service delivery and the efforts of identified program partners, DOORWAYS’ programs and services benefit those affected by HIV/AIDS in the 15-county St. Louis metropolitan area, 62 under-served counties in outstate Missouri and another 55 under-served counties in outstate Illinois.
The organization recognizes a special responsibility to respond to the poorest and most vulnerable of the community: the homeless. Many of DOORWAYS’ clients have no income at all when they enroll in service, yet no one is denied access to DOORWAYS’ housing because of an inability to pay. Reflecting the picture of the community’s most at-risk, vast majority of those who benefit from DOORWAYS’ services live below federal poverty guidelines, 74% are African-American, 32% are women, and fully one-third are children. DOORWAYS’ clients range in age from 10 to 71.
After observing people reduced to poverty, isolation and desperation by a social reaction to a devastating illness, community and faith leaders in the greater St. Louis and bi-state region sought to demonstrate their shared belief in compassionate care as a response to HIV/AIDS. Representatives from the Catholic Archdiocese joined a local rabbi, ministers from Episcopal, Lutheran, Methodist, Presbyterian, and United Church of Christ congregations, and other area leaders to form DOORWAYS, an organization dedicated to serve the needs of those living with HIV/AIDS.
As these leaders struggled to determine which services would best respond to an unmet need, they came to recognize that stable and secure housing would provide an appropriate response. Their early conviction, that safe housing is the basic prerequisite for the effective treatment, management and prevention of the disease, has since been borne out through research. For those affected by this illness, housing is healthcare.
Today, DOORWAYS’ goals are to remain true to this original mission: To increase access to safe, affordable housing for people with HIV/AIDS and, in doing so, improve access to healthcare and social services, increase compliance with individual treatment plans, reduce further transmission and enhance the quality of life for those living with and affected by HIV/AIDS.
*Video Produced by EMI