Our Neighbor: Aids Interfaith Network

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by CYNTHIA IZAGUIRRE / WFAA-TV

wfaa.com

Posted on February 25, 2010 at 5:30 AM

Updated Thursday, Feb 25 at 3:30 PM

Today's Our Neighbor is looking out for North Texans infected with HIV/Aids.

The AIDS Interfaith Network feeds these men, women and children with not only food but emotional support.

Ninety eight percent of their clients are either homeless or live on as little as $700 a month.

"This is the one place that I can hang around with people that's in the same situation that I am in. It gives me the opportunity to have a breakfast that otherwise I can't afford on my own," said Joey Avila, a client.

AIN serves more than 2,000 North Texans every year in a number of areas. They provide prepared meals for breakfast and lunch, which is especially important, since many of their clients need a meal in order to take their medications.

"A lot of the medications I take, you have to have a meal with it and sometimes at my house there's nothing to eat, so I come down here and have breakfast and it's the perfect time for me to start my day," said Avila.

"We'd like to say that they find hope and help and acceptance. We're here in the DARE center today, which has been around since 1988, and it's a place where people can come and there are no rules. You don't have to feel good to come here. Just come anyway," said Blake Peery, director of AIN.

Darryle Hooks has been coming here for 21 years to eat, paint and have fellowship.

It's a place where he's comfortable and free from criticism, a place where he can be himself.

And that's why we name everyone involved with the Aids Interfaith Network in Dallas Our Neighbor.

They AIDS Interfaith Network gets some funding, but relies almost entirely on donations.

If you'd like to help or if you know someone we can feature in an Our Neighbor report, please contact: cizzy@wfaa.com

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