Richard’s Place Provides a Caring Home
is Richard’s Place?
I opened Richard’s Place
in 1998 to provide a home with a 24-hour staff to provide acceptance and care
to people living with HIV/AIDS. We provide transitional support to those who
may need our help, usually for somewhere between three to 18 months, as well as
support for individuals who are facing end of life. Due to the demand for
services, and with constant full occupancy, we opened a second home in 2005. My
goal was always to be able to give people living with the challenges that
HIV/AIDS brings a comfortable and accepting home to live in and learn to better
care for themselves, or to cross the bridge from life to death with dignity and
services do you provide?
We provide a wide range
of services to our residents who live at either of our supervised homes.
Transportation to and from medical appointments, help with laundry, cooking and
cleaning are just a few. We help our residents learn the importance of
medication compliance and regular ongoing medical care. This has actually
helped many residents who were quite sick to show improvement in their health
and move back to independent living. Many others have received home hospice
while at Richard’s Place. No one has to risk being alone in a nursing home or
hospital at that point. We help educate families and loved ones to the
importance of a positive attitude. Some have supportive families. Some have no
families. We are their family. My hope is always that poor relationships with
family or loved ones will be mended. It is very rewarding when that happens.
We’ve been offered a
really good deal on a property that would allow us to have everyone in one
location on several acres, which is close to my original dream for Richard’s
Place. My friend Richard, whom I worked with in the mid-’80s, taught me so much
about facing death with courage. He was able to stay with his parents until he
passed away, and I thought it would be nice to give others a serene, warm
environment to begin healing or cross the bridge from life to death.
We received a lot of
support and help from the Waukesha Housing Authority and its director, David
Cappon. They temporarily provided the use of the two four-bedroom homes we’ve
occupied for the past 12 years, allowing us to serve over 100 people.
Currently, we’re seeing a lot more people who need the care and environment
Richard’s Place gives. We have had to turn away 28 people since Jan. 1 of this
year. Obviously it takes money and the help of volunteers, who are an extremely
big part of Richard’s Place. If anyone is interested in helping us reach our
goal financially or in volunteering, I urge them to contact me at 262-547-0640
or write c/o P.O. Box 294,
Waukesha, WI 53187.