Reneka’s Story: The power of positivity.

Meet Reneka Evans. Her story isn’t just one of survival and resilience; it’s one of blossoming and flourishing — against all the odds. Originally from Memphis, Tennessee, Reneka’s journey to Hope House began after about eight years of living in Minneapolis. She was diagnosed with AIDS, not HIV, and facing a critical health crisis with little-to-no T cells and a high viral load, Her prognosis was extremely grim. So grim, in fact, that her move into Hope House in 1998 was considered a transition to hospice care. Hope House became a pivotal turning point in her life.

“Entering a place that is referred to as a hospice in 1998, that alone was like a cloud.” — Reneka Evans

Reneka remembers the conversation she had with her case manager on her first day at Hope House, “We had a small talk in my room, the two of us. After moving in all my meds and small things and getting me checked in, Miss Lynn, she said to me, ‘there are two ways you can leave here,’ she said. ‘Either we can roll you out, or you can walk out.’”

“She stopped with that, and she was like, ‘I will see you soon,’ and she leaves. I’m sitting there going, okay, that’s an interesting way to leave me here at the hospice,” Reneka said.

“It wasn’t frightening, actually. It was an option. Because of the new medications, we were like, okay, if you do what you’re asked to do, you get a chance to walk out. If you don’t, there’s a chance something else can happen. I wouldn’t forget that statement,” she said. “It was piercing for me, and it was a motivation. So, I’m still here many years later.”

Positive Vibes

Almost thirty years later, and she credits Hope House for the positive impact that helped her battle back. For the first time in a long time, Reneka says she felt seen, valued, and, most importantly, hopeful. The staff and volunteers at Hope House provided her with so much more than just medical attention; they offered love, laughter, encouragement and a family that she could count on.

“Positive affirmations were encouraged,” Reneka said. “It never had a doctor, or nurse or patient feel. It was more of a friend helping a friend get on their feet. I loved it.”

From shared meals prepared by staff and volunteers to heartwarming holiday celebrations and the constant presence of someone willing to listen, the environment at Hope House was one of healing and recovery. “The joyful environment helped the recovery,” Reneka said. “It didn’t feel like one step from a funeral home kind of energy. It was one step closer to living.”

Reneka’s story highlights a crucial benefit of the Hope House environment: the holistic approach to care. It’s not just about treating the illness; it’s also about cultivating the individual’s mind, body and spirit. Through personalized care plans, positive affirmations and a nurturing community, residents like Reneka find the strength to fight back, often achieving what seemed impossible.

Moving On and Giving Back

Surprisingly, despite the direness of her initial diagnosis, Reneka only spent a year at Hope House. Thanks to the combination of advanced medical treatments and the nurturing environment at Hope House, Reneka says her journey took a sharp turn for the better and her viral load became undetectable. Her story is a testament to the fact that with the right support and care, individuals battling life-threatening illnesses can reclaim their lives and envision a future filled with possibilities.

Of course, Reneka’s story doesn’t end with her recovery at Hope House. Inspired by the compassion and support she received there, she became a light in the darkness for so many others too. Reneka dedicated her life to giving back, working tirelessly in health care and community outreach. Her efforts in administering thousands of HIV tests and her unwavering commitment to the LGBT community underscore the profound impact one person can make.

Reneka firmly believes in the power of positivity. She tells people, “Put it in the universe. Whatever you want, ask the universe. The universe will respond. It gets it to the right people. It will respond.”

Join the Mission

Reneka’s story, while unique, isn’t the only one. There are countless others in the community facing similar battles, desperately in need of the compassionate care and hope that Hope House provides.

That’s where a remarkable community of donors and supporters like you come in. Your support enables us to continue our mission, to reach more individuals like Reneka and to make a tangible difference in their lives.

As we continue to provide a sanctuary for those in their most vulnerable moments, we invite you to be a part of that growth and healing. Your donations not only sustain our operations but also ensure that every individual who walks through our doors receives the chance to rewrite their story, just like Reneka did.

Together, we can create a future where no one has to face their darkest moments alone.

Support Hope House Today!

Your generous gift will enable us to be the gateway to good health for so many who cannot afford it on their own.