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Founded last year, local non-profit Different Roads Home — a presenting sponsor for this year’s “Life, Positively,” has been hard at work making a difference in the lives of those with HIV.

The group is the brainchild of Dale Pierce, a former full-time staffer at Rosedale Infectious Diseases. Pierce, who is himself HIV-positive, says he saw the need for a new organization that offered personal support and mentorship.

Unlike other local groups that may provide direct medical care or case management, Different Roads Home offers less clinical services. The group boasts a diverse line-up of support groups, including one for HIV-positive women, one for HIV-positive men and a third open to all HIV-positive people as well as their friends, family and allies. The groups meet at either Different Roads Home’s office in Huntersville or at their partner location in Charlotte. Additionally, occasional events like movie nights, bowling and charity events are planned to provide additional social outlets.

The group’s annual Evening of Hope and Inspiration, held this year on Nov. 15, brings together diverse groups of people through faith, music and celebration to raise funds for Different Roads Home’s Jeanne White-Ginder Food Pantry, named in the honor of Ryan White’s mother, assists those living with HIV/AIDS and other chronic illnesses with access to food during emergency situations. The pantry provides gift cards to local supermarkets.

This year’s Evening of Hope and Inspiration also featured Hope & Inspiration Humanitarian Award winner Linda Gray, star of the hit TV series “Dallas.”

Additionally, the group has also established the Ryan White Memorial Scholarship fund to assist students with their education. The group also connects community members to HIV testing sites and other resource referrals.

To learn more about Different Roads Home, visit or call 704-237-8793. : :