Lifelong has been a leader in the fight against HIV and AIDS since 1983 when we first passed a soup can around Volunteer Park. Here, we collected donations to help feed, house, and support those who were fighting this disease. Our history is grounded in the support of the HIV/AIDS community and is our future - as long as this disease is here, so are we. Lifelong was formed in 2001 through the merger of two different non-profit organizations founded in response to the AIDS epidemic in the Seattle community - Chicken Soup Brigade and Northwest AIDS Foundation. These organizations came from a grassroots community working to help these affected individuals navigate the healthcare system and get access to the care and medications they needed, as well as food and other household needs.
The organization is also focused on education and prevention, including an outreach program at schools, bars, and on the streets, advocating for the use of condoms and clean needles as an effective way of preventing HIV infection.
In 2004 we expanded our mission to not just care for those with HIV and AIDS, but also people with a variety of other chronic illnesses including diabetes with complications, homebound seniors, people with MS, and kidney failure. This support mainly comes in the form of our meal distribution services at Chicken Soup Brigade.
Today, Lifelong’s mission is to empower people living with or at risk of HIV/AIDS and other chronic conditions.
Due to advances in treatment and medications, it is now possible to live a long healthy life with HIV. However, taking daily medications can be difficult for individuals worried about where they are going to sleep at night, where their next meal is coming from, and if they are struggling with mental health issues or chemical dependency. Many individuals are also unaware of the resources available to them. This is where Lifelong comes in.
Where Lifelong Thrift Comes in
Near the entrance of our store you will find a variety of pamphlets and informational resources on HIV and AIDS treatment and prevention, medications such as Truvada and PrEP, and other LGBTQ-related materials. These resources, including free condoms, are provided as a means of creating our sex-positive, inclusive, and educated environment in the store. However, we recommend reaching out to Lifelong, your doctors, medical professionals, or your case manager if you have questions about prevention or living with HIV and AIDS beyond these materials, as we are not equipped to handle those issues in our store.