We serve the community with health information and support.
CARES was established in 1985 by a group of volunteers looking to make a difference for friends. We started by offering peer support to people who were HIV positive or who had been diagnosed with AIDS.
We’ve stood the test of time to become the only community-based non-profit AIDS organization that serves 10 counties in Southwest Michigan. CARES is the second largest HIV/AIDS service provider in the state, and well-respected by state departments and other non-profits.
The CARES Prevention Team provides testing and health education to more than 3,000 people annually who are at a high risk of HIV infection. As determined by the Michigan Department of Community Health, our clients include men who have sex with men, injecting drug users, commercial sex workers, migrant farm workers, people treated for another STD and area youth. We perform approximately 1,000 FREE and confidential HIV tests each year, partially in collaboration with Planned Parenthood and other partner organizations.
CARES Medical Case Managers serve the needs of people living with HIV. Our Life Management skills are critical to those living with HIV, their partners or spouses, extended families and friends.
The mission of CARES is to minimize further transmission of HIV and to maximize the quality of life for all people affected by HIV. CARES employs three strategies to carry out its mission: be a successful social enterprise, build financial strength, and attract and retain engaged staff, board, and volunteers.
To be a dynamic leader in creating a community free from HIV and the associated stigma.
Recognizing our shared humanity with the people we serve, these core values guide us:
Diversity and inclusivity: We recruit and employ staff, volunteers, and board members who reflect the community we serve. We intentionally engage in activities that create an environment of learning, sharing and openness about different cultures.
Integrity: We are self-responsible, consistent, and fair. People trust us to keep our word.
Collaboration: Recognizing that partnerships enhance the capacity for change, we actively collaborate internally across departments and externally with other organizations and individuals.
Innovation: We adapt to the changing environment at local, state and federal levels with fearlessness. We are leaders in our approach to serving our community – we do this by retaining the qualities that have made CARES exceptional, and by fostering advocacy, since service-delivery alone does not create systemic change.
Good stewardship: We take good care of what is entrusted to us: this includes the health of those we serve, donor funds, property, and information.
Respectful communication: We are direct and open in our communication and dissemination of information. We use skills such as active listening to build trust within our teams