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Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Richard’s Place Provides a Caring Home

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According to the website for Richard’s Place, the Waukesha nonprofit “facilitates independence, dignity and well-being through a complement of safe, affordable, appropriate AIDS housing, education and day-to-day support services to people infected and affected by HIV/AIDS.” Recently we spoke with Corrie Fulwiler, founder and executive director of Richard’s Place.

What 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 respect.


What 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.

What’s next?

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.

Off the cuff May 6 LaMont Prospect will read from Control on Tuesday, 7:30pm, June 15, People's Book Store, 2122 E. Locust St.

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