"Sisters of Mercy Building Home for AIDS Patients," Belmont Banner (10/17/1990)

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"Sisters of Mercy Building Home for AIDS Patients," Belmont Banner (10/17/1990)


Sarah Nixon




Reporting on efforts to establishing House of Mercy; impact of AIDS on local area.


Belmont Banner




House of Mercy Archive: Binder 1 (1990-1999)


Sisters Of Mercy Building Home For AIDS Patients
Believing any person has the right to live and die with dignity, the Sisters of Mercy of Belmont are constructing a home for per- sons with AIDS who have no one to care for them.
The Sisters of Mercy is an order of Catholic nuns who live adjacent to the old Sacred Heart College campus.
Sister Mary Wright said they are trying to provide an alternative to those who have no place to turn for help. Historically, the Sisters of Mercy have met the needs of people in the community. Their service dates back to 1862 when they started helping patients with yellow fever.
The new home will serve patients in the Gaston and Mecklenburg area who have acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS). Funding is coming from private sources.
It is only the second family-ser-vice type home in North Carolina for AIDS patients. One in Durham is run by a community group. There are reports of a community group in Charlotte looking into such a home.
Sister Mary will be in charge of the Belmont home with other sisters volunteering. A professional will be hired to live in the home to administer and coordinate activities, cook and clean.
Doing something for people with AIDS seemed consistent with the service the Sisters of Mercy have been providing the area through the years. They saw the need for a home for AIDS patients and are doing something about it.
County health officials announced two weeks ago that the number of AIDS cases in the county has topped 100. Officials say that for every 100 AIDS patients, another 50 people have tested HIV positive. Such cases could develop AIDS at some time and also could possibly pass the virus to others.
Sister Mary said they would have preferred to have no publicity concerning the home. A person with AIDS cannot take care of themselves, so the sisters are offering an alternative.
The home will be licensed and can receive Medicaid fees for those patients eligible. Other patients who can afford to pay will do so, but most of the $166,000 annual operating funds will come from donations.
Construction of the home is estimated to cost $280,000.
The Sisters of Mercy and the Catholic Diocese of Charlotte are each contributing $100,000 toward construction: Mercy Hospital will contribute $90,000 over three years and the Glenn Foundation, Gastonia, $15,000.
The Community Foundation of Gaston Count is giving $10,000 for furnishings and St. Joseph's Hospital is giving medical equipment and supplies.
To be consistent with their work, Sister Mary says the Sisters of Mercy often take leaps in faith. They covet the prayers and support of the people of the community.
Another $80,000 is needed to be ready to open the home to AIDS patients in February.

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