Community AIDS Resource & Education Services of Southwest Michigan

Community AIDS Resource & Education Services of Southwest Michigan (CARES) contributes to the vibrancy of the Kalamazoo community by keeping Kalamazoo healthy. We help our citizens living with HIV live longer and healthier lives. CARES also works to prevent HIV in our community through education and testing.

CARES was started in 1985 by a group of volunteers concerned with their friends dying of a disease that no one was talking about. That group began supportive services for people dying and their families. As the disease has changed, so has CARES. We now provide access for people living with HIV to life-saving medications and treatment, and assist in removing barriers, including homelessness and poverty.

CARES relies on the existing comprehensive network of social service and health care providers in our community to help support the health of each individual and to help remove the barriers that may be preventing it. By providing direct services where we have the greatest experience and expertise and by referring our clients to other agencies specializing in complementary areas of expertise, we have created a community network
that can support everyone as we continue our journey towards healthier lives and a healthier community.

CARES is also addressing some of the long-term predictors of health by investing in minority youth leadership development programs, anti-stigma campaigns, and long- term HIV survivor programs. Through these initiatives CARES makes our community more inclusive and supportive. Indeed, CARES helps members of our disenfranchised populations to find their voices, connect with others, and engage in community conversations.