HIV clinic reopens 7 weeks after flood

Posted on 07 Sep 2006 at 7:02pm
By Tammye Nash Staff Writer


Staff at Peabody Health Center moved back into the repaired building on Peabody Avenue just seven weeks after vandals caused flooding that damaged the building extensively.

AIDS Arms reopened its Peabody Health Center on Aug. 28, seven weeks after vandals caused damage that flooded the building.

The clinic, located at 1906 Peabody Ave., near Fair Park, provides outpatient care and medication assistance to HIV-positive people with no other access to care, according to Raeline Nobles, executive director of AIDS Arms.

Vandals broke in on July 10, stealing copper tubing from the clinic’s plumbing system. The resulting flood filled the building with water, severely damaging the foundation, floors and walls.

Staff members immediately began working to recover documents and equipment. They moved clinic services to AIDS Arms offices on Sunset Avenue and were seeing clients there within days of the flood.

Nobles said this week contractors told her that such a quick turnaround in getting the facility repaired and re-opened was “practically a miracle.”

“They said that after a flood like this with this much damage usually takes about six months or more,” Nobles said.

“Getting it done in seven weeks is almost unheard of.”

In a written statement released Wednesday, Nobles said, “We are proud of the rapid response of staff, vendors and contractors that allowed uninterrupted health care to individuals and families impacted with HIV and AIDS.

“The past few weeks have been difficult, however we remained fiercely determined to restore the clinic to a fully functional center dedicated to serving those impacted by AIDS,” she added. “Our case management of 2,700 individuals remained uninterrupted.”

Nobles said she and her staff were especially grateful for the “interest and support of the community” during the time it took to repair the clinic.

“Multiple donors inquired about our financial need and responded with significant gifts,” Nobles said. “We are deeply indebted to DIFFA Dallas for their support and generosity.”

Several other events were also organized to help with repairs and renovations, she added.

“Our daily goal of providing quality care to families dealing with HIV and AIDS was temporarily slowed, but with the community’s help, our organization is now operating at full capacity,” Nobles said.

AIDS Arms is the largest private nonprofit AIDS service organization in North Texas. It provides HIV prevention, medical care and case management services to more than 3,000 people. The organization has four locations in South Dallas, Oak Cliff and Oak Lawn.

For information, contact AIDS Arms at 215-521-5191, or go online to www.aidsarms.org.

E-mail nash@dallasvoice.com

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition, September 8, 2006.

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