Miracle of Love announces Stafford House opening with Project Red: An Art Experience

By : Jeremy Williams
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Orlando – Miracle of Love is raising awareness and its profile in the community with the launch of The Stafford House and Project Red: An Art Experience; both meant to draw attention to HIV/AIDS in the Orlando area.

Miracle of Love purchased a new space in Orlando and are renovating it to create the Stafford House. Named after the founder of Miracle of Love, Lowell Stafford, the house is intended to offer a change of scenery from the typical doctor’s office environment and clinics when dealing with the news of a positive HIV status.

“It will be a place for those living with HIV to come and hang out,” said Michael Aponte, Stafford House Manager. “They can come here and use the kitchen or computers and while they’re here they can get information, tested for other STDs and pick up protection without any cost, it is free of charge.”

The Stafford House, just as Miracle of Love, was established to help with those living with HIV. However, it is not just programs for those who are positive.

“This is a space for the entire community,” said Aponte. “We want to be able to develop programs that focus on each individual here at the House. We do HIV testing, peer mentoring, developmental courses in resume writing and interviews. We are looking to help out in the community in many ways.”

Along with testing, both Miracle of Love and the Stafford House offer support groups for those living with HIV. Here they can meet and talk with individuals going through the same thing. One group, the Orlando Mpowerment Group, is meant to help build relationships after getting diagnosed.

“A lot of people when they first get diagnosed and join the group think it has to do with just romantic relationships but it is more about learning to have a relationship with yourself after getting this kind of news,” said Enil Rodriguez, prevention program manager for Miracle of Love. “Getting to know you, getting to know what’s going on and how to empower yourself by living positive.”

The Orlando Mpowerment Group is looking to get the word out about Miracle of Love, the new Stafford House and all the programs they offer at an event on May 28, Project Red: An Art Experience.

“It’s a collaboration of artists working together to be able to express what red, the color for HIV awareness, means to them. But at the same time it’s a way to feel the passion you get from art,” Aponte said.

Project Red is more than just an art gallery, it’s a coming out event of sorts for Miracle of Love. They will have live performances, music, raffles and a fashion runway.

It’s a big showing for an organization that has been around for many years but has not had a visual presence in the community before.

“This is a way to introduce the Stafford House to the community,” said Aponte. “To be able to get all the organizations together and understand what Miracle of Love is about and trying to do.”

For more information, visit ProjectRedAnArtExperience.com.

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