Dale Pierce, the president and CEO of Different Roads Home, saw a need for non-clinical services for those who are HIV-positive, such as himself. Pierce is a former full-time staffer at Rosedale Infectious Diseases, where he served as practice manager and Ryan White Care Act program director for several years.
Different Roads Home offers a variety of programs and services, such as Positive Impact, the all-inclusive support group held every Wednesday evening at 6:30 p.m. at St. Luke’s Missionary Baptist Church in Charlotte, which is open to everyone regardless of status and aim, to help HIV positive people live a healthy, fulfilling life. The meetings are usually topic driven and encourage healthy behaviors around issues such as diet and dating. One-on-one therapy sessions are also available for those looking for counseling.
The Jeanne White-Ginder Food Pantry, named after Ryan White’s mother, serves the needs of those with chronic illnesses who are also facing food insecurity. Gift cards are given to those who meet the requirements.
The Ryan White Memorial Scholarship Fund helps assist college students with their educational expenses. The scholarship is awarded to students who best demonstrate how they will channel their education toward work that will have a positive impact on society. Scholarships are awarded every year at the annual Hope and Inspiration event, this year headlined by Grammy nominee Ty Herndon, on Nov. 21.
The Good Roads Mentoring Project connects trained mentors with a mentee, helping them overcome the obstacles that may present themselves. Those who have recently been diagnosed and are having a hard time coping, or are struggling with treatment, knowledge or adherence, are guided and helped by those who have experienced the same or similar issues and overcome them.
The name Different Roads Home was inspired by Janet Paschal’s book, “The Good Road.” In it, Paschal writes, “We all take Different Roads Home. Each of us is heading for the same destination, but face our own variety of twists and turns and narrow places, as well as a few stretches that are all downhill. You and I encounter differing relationships, experiences and challenges, only to realize that somewhere along the way we arrive at the same impasse. It is a summons that will change our past, present, and future.”
More information about Different Roads Home’s services and programs is available online by visiting differentroadshome.org or by calling 704-237-8793.