Broward House: Moving Forward

An Interview with Stacy Hyde, Interim CEO

Broward House is Broward County’s oldest and largest HIV/AIDS community service organization. Founded in 1988, it has 15 locations throughout South Florida.

As previously reported, (Florida Agenda, November 14, 2012, SUNSHINE STATE: “Broward House CEO Resigns amid Child Sex Abuse Accusations”), this month, CEO Michael McGuigan resigned his position following an agonizing consideration by the agency’s board. Stacy Hyde has stepped in to serve as interim CEO. She has been with Broward House for 10 years this month, and has held a variety of positions in the organization.

“I have been in a leadership position here for 10 years in some capacity or other,” she noted. “So really I am continuing to do everything I have always done: I continue to focus on the staff, our clients and the community.”

Hyde says that the focus at Broward House is on the clients’ needs, and forging a path for future service. “We have staff that has been here for anywhere between two to 20 years, their passion doesn’t change due to one cloud,” she explained. “Our clients are our inspiration. We use their grace and strength to continue to move forward because they rely on us.”

Broward House helps over 6,000 people and Hyde says that every client is a unique opportunity to make a difference. “A client came here after suffering a lot of physical and sexual abuse,” she recalled. “He completed our substance abuse program, got better, and is now employed and happy.”

She says that the assistance the agency offers its clients come in all forms. “[There was] a gentleman who came here, but he died. He affected me because he died with grace and dignity, and without us I know he would have died on the street,” she related. “What also impacts me is the people we haven’t reached yet. In a way they affect me more because we haven’t reached them, and that is also what drives me: We have to reach them.”

Hyde says that she and Broward House plan to focus in 2013 on building upon the solid foundation the agency has set. “I always believe you can continue to strengthen your core,” she said. “I want to continue to grow our outreach and prevention programs. For example, we have an ‘MPowerment’ program that targets young MSM [men-who-have-sex-with-men] between the ages of 18 to 30.  It is crucial to reach the vulnerable.”

“We continue to strengthen our main offering,” Hyde noted, “because I believe if we expand the existing the services we can reach more individuals who are not in treatment. I also will be focusing on counselling and testing and reaching those who are HIV positive and don’t know it. That in itself is a big prevention component.”

Hyde says that no matter what services Broward House unveils, community support is “vital.”

“It takes the entire community to make changes,” she explained. No individual can do it all. It requires agencies, people, and business to do it. In any area HIV affects every single person, so it takes every single person to achieve change.”

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