OUR STORY

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In 1989, an announcement was placed in the Free Lance Star newspaper by a public health nurse to start a group for people living with HIV/AIDS, and the group began meeting weekly in the living room of Sister Mary Colette Fox. 

In 1990, the support group identified itself as the Fredericksburg AIDS Support Team (FAST) and applied for funding through the Virginia Department of Health AIDS Service Organization Grant. 

FAST is not awarded the funds; however, the AIDS Support Group of Charlottesville (ASG) is asked to provide services to the Fredericksburg and Culpeper areas.

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In 1991, ASG hired a Community Organizer/Case Manager for two Planning Districts - PD 16 comprising the City of Fredericksburg and the Counties of Caroline, King George, Spotsylvania, and Stafford - and PD9 comprising the Counties of Culpeper, Fauquier, Orange, Madison, and Rappahannock. 

There was a 90.6% increase in clients served in those Planning Districts during 1991. 

The support group met weekly in the Fredericksburg Area Hotline training room. 

Helping Hands

In 1992, a small group of volunteers formed the Board of Directors in June. The support group renamed itself the Fredericksburg Area HIV/AIDS Support Services (FAHASS) in July. FAHASS was incorporated as a non-profit, community-based organization in September. 

 

Due to growth, the support group met weekly at St. George's Episcopal Church in Fredericksburg. 

 

In 1993, Medicorp Inc. leased the house at 415 Elm Street to FAHASS, rent free for three years. 

 

FAHASS applied for United Way Funding. 
 

Dollar Bill in Jar

Youth Addressing the AIDS Crisis (YAAC), a high-school peer education group was formed. 

The support group began meeting at Elm Street. 

In 1994, FAHASS was awarded capacity building funds from the Virginia Department of Health for $10,000 for the purchase of a TV/VCR for education and to hire a full-time Case Manager. 

The Board of Directors concentrated on raising funds to stay open. 

FAHASS received $3,000 in United Way Funds. 

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In 1995, ASG applied for Ryan White Title I funds on behalf of the eligible metropolitan areas of Planning Districts 9 and 16. 

The support group expanded to include a group for Family and Friends. 

FAHASS received $9,000 in United Way Funds. 

The first Mystic Night and AIDS Walk, both annual fundraising events, were held. 

In 1996, the Board of Directors concentrated on raising funds to become independent from Charlottesville ASG. 

Image by Maria Lin Kim

FAHASS is awarded $10,000 in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds from the City of Fredericksburg. 

FAHASS received $10,000 in United Way funds. 

FAHASS volunteers with Food & Friends (Washington, D.C.) to coordinate the Groceries-To-Go Program. 

The support group expanded to include a group for children and/or teens either infected or affected by HIV/AIDS. 

The second annual Mystic Night and AIDS Walk are held. 

In January 1997, FAHASS separated from Charlottesville ASG and established their own bookkeeping system.