By Darla Shelden
City Sentinel Reporter
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – In its 30th year of operation, the A.I.D.S. Support Program, Inc. board of directors have announced the completion of renovations totaling $425,000 to the Winds House & the Winds Family House facilities in Oklahoma City.
An open house and dedication ceremony celebrating the completion will take place on Wednesday, July 11, from 6 – 8 p.m.
The event will be held at 1707 NW 17th Street. Hors d’oeuvres and drinks will be provided.
A.S.P. Inc. owns and operates the Winds House and the Winds Family House, two homes located in the historic Gatewood district. They provide supportive and transitional housing for individuals and families living with H.I.V. & A.I.D.S.
Recognized by the IRS in September is 1987, the A.S.P. Inc. is still operating today, making it the longest continually serving H.I.V. and A.I.D.S. services program in the State of Oklahoma.
The funds to renovate the two residences located on 17th and 18th Streets were made possible through a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG). The CDBG federal funds were granted through the City of Oklahoma City.
The CDBG, one of the longest-running programs of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), funds local community development activities such as affordable housing, anti-poverty programs, and infrastructure development.
Winds House board president, Colin Raley applauds his fellow board members “for their hard work and tenacity in making this project happen.”
“The reason this organization has been around for 30 years has been its ability to evolve in order to meet the ever changing needs of our residents,” said Raley. “This renovation project is tangible result of our efforts to better serve our clientele and equip them with the skills necessary to live independently successfully.”
According to Raley, the home opened as a safe place for men to die with dignity. Thirty years later, “the organization strives to help residents overcome their barriers to housing and transition into their own permanent and stable living environment,” he said.
“This complete rehab and update includes major electrical, HVAC, and plumbing systems,” Raley added. “Our focus with this remodel is to become as efficient and green as possible, and to create a better home for the residents.
“Those who have lived at the Winds House and the Winds Family House reflect the diversity of those the illness strikes,” Raley said. “Typically, about half of our residents are not receiving medical care when they move in. Reconnecting people with care is an intentional focus of ours.”
The Winds House is named for healing winds that are believed to take away disease and bring healing in ancient medicine.
Partners and supporting agencies include the Homeless Alliance, AIDS Walk, Oklahoma AIDS Care Fund, sixtwelve, Focus on Home and the Cresap Family Foundation.
“Come learn about our organization, see our new look, take a tour, and have some fun as we properly celebrate our new home before it opens up to new residents,” Raley posted on Facebook.
To learn more or make a donation online, visit whokc.org. Checks can also be mailed to: The Winds House, P.O. Box 12185, Oklahoma City, OK 73157.