A Place to Call Home

Sep 19, 2023

Just one year ago, the future was bleak for Joey, an HIV+ gay man who had been homeless and suffering from addiction. At Broadway House for Continuing Care, Joey turned his life around—and recently moved into an apartment of his own.

While living on the streets, Joey became hooked on drugs and alcohol, turning to prostitution to survive. Diagnosed with HIV/AIDS more than 30 years ago, he hadn’t taken medication in years and his health was in peril. Joey came to Broadway House last winter with severe pneumonia. He recently told a reporter, “I was probably about 125, 130 pounds, sick…I hadn’t been on medication in a long time.”

Once at Broadway House, Joey received expert medical care and behavioral support to control his illness, restore his health, and kick his addictions. As he started to feel better, Joey’s sparkling personality began to shine through. He made friends with fellow Broadway House residents, including Lou Lou, a lesbian who shared a similar background with Joey. The pair were featured in this newsletter and on NJ Spotlight News for their decision to room together, thanks to a recent law that makes it illegal to discriminate against the LGBTQIA+ community and HIV+ facility residents—including denying residents’ requests to share a room.

With his health restored and HIV/AIDS under control, Joey recently moved into an apartment of his own. Broadway House connected him with social service benefits to support his transition to life in the community. His apartment is just a couple of blocks from Broadway House, so he can visit Lou Lou—who helped Joey to set up the apartment—while continuing to receive support to keep his life on a positive track. Joey says, “After all the years I’ve been on the streets and the stuff I went through for the drugs, the alcohol, the prostitution, I don’t want that no more now. I want a life of my own.”