Dec 13, 2022
On today's show we discuss The Chicago House, founded in 1985 during the height of the AIDS crisis, Chicago House initially served as a housing resource for those living with HIV/AIDS. Over the past three decades, they evolved, remaining steadfast in their roots to provide housing for anyone impacted or vulnerable to HIV/AIDS while expanding their services to empower individuals in the greater LGBTQ+ community.
Chicago House empowers persons living with or vulnerable to HIV/AIDS to lead healthy and dignified lives through housing and compassionate, client-centered support services. Chicago House is committed to preventing new HIV transmissions and ensuring individuals that are faced with a diagnosis are linked to care. As part of the local and global Getting to Zero effort they provide essential health services to individuals vulnerable to HIV with a goal to eliminate the HIV epidemic by the year 2030.
Our guest is MICHAEL T. HERMAN (HE/HIM/HIS) Chief Executive Officer of The Chicago House. He is what you call a born and bred Chicagoan. He grew up on the Southwest side of the city in an Irish, German, Lithuanian, and Catholic family. The three biggest values in his home growing up were family, faith, and education. He lived directly across the street from the church where he went to elementary school. At a young age, he entered the seminary attending Quigley South Seminary located at 79th and Western. He attended college seminary at Loyola University where he received a degree in Computer Programming and a minor in philosophy.
He went on in the seminary to get a masters of Divinity before being ordained a catholic priest in 1989. For 17 years, he served as a priest in the Hispanic communities of Chicago. He loved the priesthood but eventually left active ministry to live as an out gay man. After leaving the priesthood, he joined Chicago House as the CDO, Chief Development Officer. In many ways, Chicago House allowed him to continue his ministry by working with the LGBTQ communities and those most vulnerable to HIV/AIDS. After his time as CDO at Chicago House, he secured a role as VP of Philanthropy at Kohl Children’s Museum. He valued his 6 years at the museum and is now thrilled to have began his work as Chief Executive Officer at Chicago House in July 2019. He met his husband, Bernard, 23 years ago playing volleyball. During those years, they have gotten married three times with the third one finally recognized as a legal marriage. They adopted their son from the Philippines. Although much has changed in this world during his life, the values of family, faith, and education remain constant for him.