The Phoenix Shanti Group has served the Arizona capital’s HIV community since 1987. Next year, it will close.
The center was founded on a hospice model at a time when AIDS was a fatal disease, Keith Thompson, chief executive of the Shanti Group, told Cronkite News/Arizona PBS. The center also provided training for caregivers.
Below is a video marking the group’s 30th anniversary.
In more recent years—notably after the advent of lifesaving HIV meds in 1996—the center began catering to people living with HIV who also dealt with substance use disorder or homelessness. It provides transitional and permanent housing, individual and group counseling and job skills training.
According to the group’s website, shanti is a Sanskrit word that means “inner peace.” It reflects the center’s approach to “promoting personal empowerment and maintaining independence and dignity.”
The Phoenix Shanti Group also operates a thrift shore that helps provide job training and income.
Thompson urged people who supported Phoenix Shanti Group to continue bolstering the HIV community by contributing to the Southwest Center for HIV/AIDS, also located in Phoenix.