For almost 25 years, CALOR (Comprensión y Apoyo a Latinos en Oposición al Retrovirus) has offered hope and help to people with HIV/AIDS, and other disabilities, in the Belmont-Cragin neighborhood.
Now a division of Anixter Center, one of the largest nonprofit organizations serving people with disabilities in the Chicago area, CALOR's history dates back to 1990. That year it began as a grassroots organization to support Latinos impacted by HIV/AIDS. At that time, the needs of this Latino community were simply not being met by other organizations. CALOR responded by first providing support groups and then expanding to offer counseling, testing, prevention education and housing.
Having established itself as a key provider of specialized services for Latinos impacted by HIV/AIDS, CALOR now serves a wider community, including all people of color with HIV/AIDS and other disabilities. In 2012, more than 20 percent of those seeking CALOR's services were African American.
Today CALOR is a recognized leader in HIV/AIDS support services on Chicago's west side. And it is constantly looking for ways to better serve those in need.
CALOR's confidential services are grouped into five key areas:
- Prevention and Education (including free HIV testing at multiple locations)
- Case Management
- Substance Abuse Counseling and Education
All services are provided in a comfortable environment by a bilingual staff.
"Our understanding of the unique perspectives of a Latino or individual of color living with HIV/AIDS is a strong reason for someone to seek out CALOR. It may in fact be the only way to really reach them.” Omar N. López, Director CALOR