Positive House will have a café and backyard tables open to extended community including children and dogs and pets that get along with dogs. The walls of the café will be covered with portraits of people and animals that clients consider to be their family members. It will be called “The Zoo.” We will have pictureframes and parts of old frames and things to make frames out of in a glassed-in sun-porch art room. The cafe will serve beer, wine, and Peet's coffee.
Clients can make murals or non-hate graffiti (definitely including any symbols of equality, human rights and diversity that speak to them) all over the walls of the whole house however they feel like it. Individuals can write what they feel they’ve lost (or who) or what they wish for the rest of us, or what they wish the rest of us would understand, or what they hope for. They can write their reactions to what’s already written.
Upstairs (or elevator) there will be cat-access to one of the reading rooms via a window fire escape that leads up to the community roof garden. When it’s sunny no one has to wear clothes on the roof if they don’t want to. There will be another reading room on the other side of the house for people who are allergic. Our cat is a Katrina refugee. ("Refugee" in the sense that she is cared for in a place that will never be the same as her home). She is calico. Her name is Gumbo.
There will be a library between the reading rooms stocked with a core set of reference books containing information pertaining to all of us. We will have And the Band Played On and a section of books and videos on our epidemiological history from places around the world that we will ask clients to contribute materials to, especially in different languages. The rest of the library we will stock initially with books and movies we guess might be of interest to clients, who can borrow them as they like, or take what they like and replace with books and movies they would like other people with HIV to read or see for whatever reason. There will be no librarian. There will be a big desk (heavy old, hardwood scratched up desk) for clients to write reviews or recommendations of the books or movies they have borrowed or contributed. They can stick their reviews all over the walls.