Acts of Compassion Historical Marker
Organized by: Clara Rogalinski
Since 1949, the Kentucky Historical Marker program has allowed communities across Kentucky to recognize and share the sites, events and personalities they consider to be important to local, regional, state or national history. Recently, I have partnered with House of Ruth, a nonprofit organization that strengthens lives for those with or affected by HIV/AIDS, to apply for a historical marker for the property that the House of Ruth stands on, the former St. Matthew United Church of Christ in the Shelby Park neighborhood. The history behind the transaction between the two organizations and the work that is done is the reason I titled this marker “Acts of Compassion.” This marker will be one of the first in Kentucky that focuses on LGBTQ history. This church was built in 1908, designed by Arthur Loomis, a prominent Louisville architect. The congregation of St. Matthews UCC lasted from 1889 to 1999. The congregation decided to gift the property to House of Ruth for $1, so that the organization may continue to serve to those living with HIV. The second side of the markers focuses on the Glade House. It is the longest continuously operating shelter exclusively for homeless adults with HIV/AIDS in the United States. Community Health Trust, another nonprofit, started Glade in the mid-1980s to house gay men with AIDS who had nowhere to go The marker has been approved by the Kentucky Historical Society as of September 26, 2016. We are currently raising the funds for the creation and installation of the marker. The cost of the two sided marker is $2500. Any donation would be appreciated. If donations exceed the price of the marker, they would go to House of Ruth, so that they may continue the work that they do.