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Matthew 25 was created in 1996 by a group of church members from Zion United Church of Christ who had been personally affected by the HIV/AIDS virus. They wanted to see an organized effort in Henderson and the surrounding area to fight the disease and the stigma, to care for those infected and affected, and to provide education and prevention services for the larger community.
In 1999, Matthew 25 became incorporated and received 501c3 nonprofit status. The following year, it was awarded a Ryan White Planning Grant to evaluate the need for clinical services in the area. Matthew 25 was then awarded the Ryan White Early Intervention Services Grant to begin providing comprehensive medical care to patients. The Robert Wood Johnson Faith in Action Grant provided money for volunteer services and a grant from the Preston Foundation allowed Matthew 25 to purchase a van for staff and client transportation. The organization was also given funding from Kentucky Housing Corporation which assists clients with housing and other support services.
Matthew 25 offers comprehensive medical and support services to those with HIV and AIDS. It also provides prevention education, counseling, and testing. Medical care is provided by an HIV Specialist Nurse Practitioner who collaborates with an Infectious Disease Physician. This health care includes lab monitoring, treatment, referrals for specialty care, access to medications, nutritional support, mental health, and an adherence specialist.
Support services include housing assistance, support groups, alcohol and drug referrals, transportation to and from appointments, and a food pantry stocked with canned goods, frozen meat, and personal care items.
What began in a small office with a staff of two and eight clients, has grown to a staff of more than twenty and a volunteer team of sixty treating over three hundred patients and their families. Margaret Mead once said "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world…indeed it is the only thing that ever has." Indeed…the core group of Matthew 25 and all who have joined the hope and promise of this group have changed the lives of many HIV and AIDS patients.