By Jennifer Ellison, Outreach Specialist, HART
After almost a year and a half since in-person outreach events were suspended in Miami-Dade County, the HART (Healthy Alternatives Require Transitions) program is thrilled to be back out in our community! On Saturday, June 19, the HART program set up shop at the 2021 Wilton Manors Stonewall Pride Parade and Street Festival celebrating the LGBTQ and human rights movements. This year’s theme was, “Love is love” and emphasized the importance of inclusion. The one-day festival was a wonderful kickstart to HART’s return to events where both visitors and HART staff had an amazing time filled with lots of laughs. By the end of the night, you could see HART fans and bracelets all throughout the crowd.
In addition to PRIDE, HART also attended Miami’s very first Voodoo Ball on July 24. The Voodoo “House of Dolls” came together in the 1980s for men to be able to live open and free of judgment to be who they are. For two decades, “houses” have created safe spaces for the LGBTQ community to thrive. Pridelines Miami’s very own, Williamson “Tboy” Bellot, brought together allied services to assist in bringing awareness to the community regarding PrEP and HIV as well as LGBTQ and Transgender rights. The Voodoo Ball showcased fashion as well as talent within the “houses” in which each “house” had a different voodoo-like theme. All proceeds went towards increasing awareness for each cause.
The HART program provides one-on-one services to men who are living a high-risk lifestyle and are struggling with substance abuse. With individual therapy and clear case management, this program provides participants a new outlook on living a healthier lifestyle while teaching new life skills to help them succeed in obtaining a promising future.