February 7 was National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day. In 1999, this day was launched as a grassroots-education effort to raise awareness about HIV and AIDS prevention, care and treatment in communities of color. Now, one North Nashville organization is continuing that conversation and, at the same time, supporting a vulnerable population during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Street Works is a 501 c3, non-profit organization that works in inner-city communities in Nashville to provide education, prevention and care to those affected by HIV/AIDS. Through the pandemic, employees are working tirelessly to advance SW’s mission despite many personal hardships, and the added burdens presented by clients. “Many clients need that one-on-one to help inspire and motivate them. Without it they experience anxieties and depression,” explains Executive Director, Sharon Hurt. Street Works is following guidelines and taking extra precautions to ensure its environment is sanitized and disinfected daily to keep everyone safe. Additionally, the non-profit is also moving towards online events to help educate the community.
Street Works has teamed up with Rev. Dr. Kelly Miller Smith, Jr. at First Baptist Church, Capitol Hill to present COVID-19, Condoms and Conversations. This event will take place February 25th at 12pm CST. Featured panelists will discuss the recent rise in drug use which can lead to the spread of HIV/AIDS. They will also discuss unprotected sex, and how these two aspects are entry points impacting the lives of those who might be most at risk.
The Street Works mission is to help people who are overlooked, especially those who call North Nashville home. “Those who have the greatest difficulty with health care, be it insurance or transportation, are those who require the most compassion,” says Hurt. If you would like to support, volunteer or learn more about the prevention of sexually transmitted disease without the stigma, please visit http://streetworks.org/about/.