To call Will a client is at best misleading. The same might be said of Thomas and Robert and Wesley and Mary and dozens of others who found their way to these doors via an HIV diagnosis. They came to find support; they found that – as well as a place to support others.
To call Anne a volunteer is equally troubling. The same might be said of dozens more. Though they came here to work within a cause their hearts cried out for, they found succor and comfort from ravages the disease had brought to their own families and loved ones. They found a place to be healed.
To call Meagan a Case Manager scarcely covers a fraction of the story. The same goes for any number of health professionals who find their way here. They come to do their jobs, then become volunteers, donors, cooks, friends, sharers, and dishwasher-loaders.
They tell me once you start giving at Higher Ground you can’t help but receive. And, likewise, it seems impossible to receive without the beautiful, natural reflex to give back. The lines and roles have always been muddled in this little house which I suppose is why they had to invent a word like “community” in the first place. It’s an often overused, catchall term in our culture but you know the real thing when you see it… because it’s going to look a little messy, and you may not quite know who’s who — including yourself. And the best part is, at least eventually, you won’t care. You realize you can’t become who you are without letting go of who you’ve been; you realize without risking the loss of one identity, you may never find the truer one.
–by Mark Cassity, Higher Ground Director