The LIGHT Story
LIGHT Health & Wellness Comprehensive Services, Inc. (LIGHT), formerly known as the Baltimore Pediatric HIV Program, Inc. (BPHIVP), is premier community-based 501(c)(3) non-profit organization specializing in providing comprehensive quality care for children, women, and youth.
In 1988, LIGHT’s founder, Debbie Rock, MSW, began serving families as part of the Ashland Support Center as a demonstration Head Start project developed to meet the needs of children and families in Baltimore City who were infected/affected by HIV/AIDS. Working with local pediatric clinics in Baltimore, LIGHT started its tradition of serving medically fragile children by providing child care to infants born with HIV and other health complications.
By 1998, the organization had become an established 501(c) (3) non-profit organization in its own right called the Baltimore Pediatric HIV Program (BPHIVP), formed to meet the growing demand for day and respite care for older children infected and affected by HIV and other illnesses. It was the only program in Maryland that provided a licensed day and respite care specifically for children infected/affected by HIV/AIDS. We are recognized as a national model by the Health & Human Services Resources Administration (HRSA).
By 2003, BPHIVP had expanded to provide comprehensive services to economically disadvantaged children and families who were impacted by HIV/AIDS. The services encompass: a) child care; b) psychosocial services; c) client advocacy; d) cultural and recreational activities for families; e) community outreach; and f) education and prevention services.
In 2006, the board of directors decided to change the name of the agency in order to encompass the agency’s servicing of a wider population beyond servicing children. As a result, LIGHT is better able to reach out to the individuals (younger and older adults) and serve the needs of all individuals with its broader mission and goal.
In October 2008, LIGHT proudly celebrated 10 years of service to children and families affected by HIV/AIDS, substance abuse, mental illness and poverty, and celebrated 15 years in October 2013. Over these 17 years, the organization has strengthened its ability to serve children and over 800 families in impoverished neighborhoods. This, however, is just the beginning for LIGHT. We will not stop until all families and children have the tools they need to lead productive lives.