If you live or work in downtown Los Angeles, you can be a part of The Salvation Army’s creative awareness campaign on December 1st to educate the public about the current issues surround HIV / AIDS, called the Red Balloon Walk.
Hundreds of volunteers will gather at the Staples Center Start Plaza for a kick off rally and then spread out downtown carrying a red balloon and distributing education materials. Serving as a visual reminder and an ice breaker, the red balloon is also a symbol of hope: hope for a cure; hope for more resources to expand prevention and treatment; hope for people living with HIV/AIDS.
Around the world poverty, inequality, and mental health conditions are obstacles to treatment for many people with HIV/AIDS. Their hope rests on our willingness to overcome these challenges and invest our time and resources in improving access to treatment and medication.
The Red Balloon Walk is hosted by The Salvation Army Alegria which provides health, housing, and child development services to homeless families with special needs, including residents with chronic illnesses such as HIV/AIDS. The goal is to not just help these families survive, but give them the resources to live dignified, hopeful lives, as well.
Located in the Silver Lake neighborhood of Los Angeles, Alegria (Spanish for “joy”) is a village-style community made up of 16 licensed transitional living apartments and 28 townhomes for permanent/long-term housing. There is also a licensed child development center onsite that offers free childcare (upon qualification) for 65 boys and girls from Alegria and the surrounding community.
Alegria’s second location in downtown Los Angeles opened in 2003 and includes 18 units of emergency housing for homeless families with with services provided in partnership with the Department of Mental Health, Department of Social Services, and the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority.
To read more about Alegria, please click here.