Friends For Life offers our services through an integrated model that provides a wide variety of support under one roof.
Many clients have co-occurring disorders, including mental health and substance abuse issues. Others suffer from poor nutrition and physical disabilities. Additionally, local stigma around HIV status has impacted the great majority of our clients, often leading to homelessness, the loss of a job, dismissal by their chosen faith community and other social issues. All programs coordinate to combat the negative effects of stigma while addressing complex needs of each client.
The agency focuses all of its services on achieving the following four goals:
1 Helping people living with HIV/AIDS to become and remain medically adherent
2 Reducing and preventing homelessness for PLWHA
3 Reducing HIV/AIDS infections by promoting the widest variety of prevention tools
4 Offering education about HIV and reducing HIV stigma in the Mid-South.
Friends For Life’s centralized and integrated service model creates a single entry point linking clients to services. The wrap-around programs at FFL improve each client’s continuum of care and offer them a better quality of life. Viral suppression—the process of reducing the amount of HIV virus in the body, thus improving health and decreasing transmission to others—is a top priority in every program.
HIV or STI
Youth Leadership Initiative (YLI)
Funded by the Elton John AIDS Foundation, the Youth Leadership Initiative develops the next generation of leaders through the intersection of civic involvement, social justice and sexual health and wellness. YLI members invest in themselves as community leaders—and empower their peers to get involved in local government issues and causes that target inequality and disparity. A key feature of the program is Day on the Hill, which allows young people to visit the state capitol and lobby for equality and progressive change.
Feast For Friends
Our twice-monthly congregate meal program offers clients hot, nutritious meals in a setting that encourages fellowship and friendship. Meals and entertainment are offered to both clients and their loved ones and are provided in the dining hall of St. John United Methodist Church in Midtown Memphis on the second and fourth Monday of every month. We need volunteers! Click to email us.
Nutrition Counseling (Medical Nutrition Therapy)
The MNT team collaborates with providers and community partners to embrace the power of food and nutrition on each client’s path to personal wellness. Our dietitian empowers clients in the Mid-South to live well by eating well, while also shifting the cultural context of how food is accessed, prepared and enjoyed.
Nancy Fletcher Food Pantry
Our popular food pantry is designed to improve medical adherence to HIV medications by offering the nutritious food and proteins that allow HIV/AIDS medications to properly function. Food is a critical component in medical adherence and helps clients stay virally suppressed, reducing the incidence of HIV being passed on to others. Core services like food pantry deliveries and nutritional counseling also improve medical outcomes by helping to prevent cyclical poverty within families, an unfortunate outcome for those facing the stigma of living with HIV/AIDS in the Mid-South.
Community Health Workers
The Community Health Worker (CHW) Program offers an evidence-based care model that utilizes the unique skills of our CHW team to:
Link clients to the services that help them stay healthy
Work with clients to address the everyday barriers that impact their use of services and their adherence to HIV medications
Recommend new services that may be helpful to each client
The CHWs are connected to the community. They understand the culture of the community and will engage individuals throughout the community. The program's goal is to improve health outcomes for HIV positive people from marginalized populations, with an emphasis on same-gender loving men, cisgender women, transgender women, inter-venous drug users and young people.
Early Intervention Services (EIS)
The EIS team offers support, care, knowledge, and wisdom for clients who are
newly diagnosed and those who have been diagnosed for years and need a little more support. They create the first steps in assessing each client’s unique needs, which leads to developing a personalized care plan and linking the client to providers that offer comprehensive medical care. These services are offered
though a peer mentorship model, with many EIS staff having themselves gone through the fear and uncertainty of a new diagnosis—so they can now offer
words of hope and encouragement for all.
Insurance assistance allows clients to receive support and advice on how to best navigate the complex world of open enrollment. Case managers assist clients in determining eligibility and selecting insurance plans that expand the network of providers they can see.
Medical Case Management
Our case managers provide ongoing management of each client’s care plan, from assuring clients make and attend provider appointments to tracking viral loads to enhance the suppression of HIV in their bodies. Case managers also track the evolving needs of each client and make referrals to internal and external services that can help them be the happiest, healthiest version of themselves.
Transportation vouchers and other services are provided to clients that may need support in attending provider appointments and community services far from their homes.
Mental Health Services
Individual and group sessions are available for clients who are struggling with their status, battling complicated personal issues or dealing with substance abuse. Licensed professionals offer services in-house and coordinate support groups that can help each client on their path to wellness.
Oral health care, including dental care and oral surgery, are managed through the agency’s oral health team, which sets appointments, manages referrals to private providers and processes claims and payment.
A pharmacy representative is available every weekday at the agency’s main office, answering questions on prescriptions, managing requests and refills and delivering medication directly to clients.
Positive Learning Center
The Positive Living Center provides a place for persons with HIV/AIDS and their loved ones to participate in therapeutic activities that are designed to increase the quality of life for those living with HIV/AIDS. The program provides opportunities to manage the disease in a holistic manner, recognizing the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of all persons. Features include a drop-in center, Resource Library, Computer Lab, snacks, games, movies, special therapies (such as writing, music, art and massage) and more.
This program, one of the most utilized offered by Friends For Life, is noted in the community for its success in improving the lives of persons living with HIV/AIDS. The Wellness University focuses on personal health, job readiness and volunteerism. Ongoing classes are offered on topics such as medical treatment, mental health services and other supportive services. Classes may also include: HIV 101; Life Skills Training; Financial Literacy; Nutrition and Health; Substance Abuse; Career Development; Exercise and Health; Music/Art Therapy; and Yoga.
Emergency Financial Assistance (EFA)
EFA services are available to eligible clients who are in an unstable financial situation and may need short-term support to prevent homelessness.
Short-Term Rent, Mortgage and Utility Assistance
This program prevents homelessness by providing eligible individuals with assistance for rent, mortgage and/or utility bills for up to 21 weeks during a calendar year.
Tenant-Based Rental Assistance (TBRA)
This Housing and Urban Development (HUD) program assists low-income individuals and families by allowing them to rent housing in the private market. Eligible and qualified applicants receive a voucher to choose housing that meets the requirements of the program. Generally, renters pay between 30%-40% of household income for their rent. Case managers and clients identify units in different areas of the city that fit the special needs of persons with HIV/AIDS, including apartments specially designed for wheelchair accessibility. The TBRA program allows a family or individual to choose the area in which they would like to live. Case managers provide intensive supportive services to the tenants in order to improve housing stability and increase income levels. Families and individuals are also assisted with accessing all mainstream resources for which they may be eligible.
Aloysius Commons (Shelter + Care)
This 16-unit apartment building is located in Midtown Memphis and offers permanent supportive housing for clients who have been homeless and are capable of independent living. The rent-subsidized apartments are provided along with intensive case management and other necessary supportive services.
Aloysius New Beginnings
Aloysius New Beginnings, the newest of our housing programs, offers ten single room units that provide permanent supportive housing to chronically homeless adults who are living with HIV/AIDS and also have co-occurring disorders.
Aloysius Scattered Sites
Following the permanent supportive housing model offered at agency-owned properties, this program offers housing solutions to clients in a variety of properties around Memphis. The agency holds the lease for these properties and works with clients to ensure housing stability and advancement into private-lease rentals.
Every year, the agency’s team delivers up to 50,000 condoms and condom kits (including lube and educational literature) to the public at large—part of a broad and diverse sexual health and wellness initiative.
Peer-Based Support and Education
Many high-impact prevention interventions have been offered at Friends For Life, often in social group settings or through peer-to-peer models. The agency’s current program, BETA Mpowerment, is housed at The Haven and offers fun and educational sessions that empower young people to recognize unhealthy habits and affect lasting change. BETA—Brotherhood, Education, Trust and Advocacy—offers Mpowerment group sessions bi-weekly and social events monthly.
Fast and Free PrEP and PEP
Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis, or PrEP, offers a once-a-day pill that is up to 99% effective at preventing HIV if taken once a day as directed. We also offer Post-Exposure Prophylaxis, or PEP, which uses antiretroviral drugs after a single high-risk event (such as unprotected sex or a needle stick) to stop HIV seroconversion. PEP must be started as soon as possible to be effective—and always within 72 hours of a possible exposure.
Our prevention team offers fast, free and confidential PrEP and PEP services through our clinic, The Corner, which provides these services regardless of income, insurance or immigration status. Learn more about PrEP here and call or text 901-896-0739 to make your free, confidential appointment. Confidential STI and HIV testing is also provided onsite at no charge.
Interested in PrEP?
Click here or call 901-896-2579 to learn how PrEP can be part of your safer sex experience.
Our outreach team provides HIV and STI testing, education and counseling, safer sex supplies and anti-stigma materials in a variety of targeted settings, including private parties, bars, clubs, community centers, college campuses, health fairs and faith communities. Outreach is headquartered out of our new community center in Downtown Memphis, The Haven.
HIV & STI Testing and Counseling
(622 Minor Rd. near the University of Memphis). We accommodate walk-in appointments when possible, but calling ahead ensures we can help you as quickly as possible. Your safety comes first: please note that COVID-19 restrictions and limitations may apply.
(HIV and STI Testing, Education, Advocacy, Community Engagement)
622 Minor Road
Memphis, TN 38111
Phone: (901) 333-8245
The Haven's Hours of Operation:
Tuesday to Thursday 11am to 6pm, Friday and Saturday 12noon to 8pm
(Fast and free PrEP and PEP, HIV and STI Testing, Referrals to Care)
806 S. Cooper Street
Memphis, TN 38104
Phone: (901) 896-0739
The Corner's Hours of Operation:
Saturday to Tuesday 12noon to 8pm, Wednesday to Friday 8am to 4pm
FREE RESOUCES FOR HIV & STI PREVENTION
Status Memphis is a collaborative public awareness campaign designed to unite organizations, individuals and the community to reduce stigma around HIV status in Greater Memphis. The campaign focuses on the “us” in status—that we are all in this together—and the first step to beating the epidemic is to discuss HIV without shame or judgment.
The campaign’s goals are five-fold:
to encourage open dialogue about HIV status in non-judgmental ways
to empower individuals to inquire about status in a healthy and respectful fashion, whether online or in person
to support and empower serodiscordant couples (one partner HIV positive, one partner HIV negative)
to create a support system for individuals “coming out” as positive
to support local efforts to create awareness and access about PrEP and other prevention tools.
Annual Toy Drive
Every holiday season, Friends For Life collects toys for children affected by HIV/AIDS from infancy to ten years of age. These toys help make the season a little brighter! Collection begins in late November and all toys are distributed to eligible families on or around December 15.
Photo credits: Tanja Hefter | Michael Mims | Warren Wong