Celebrate 35 Years of Service to Our Community!

We're close to ending the HIV Epidemic for good, Help us end the Epidemic by increasing testing and treatment.

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We're celebrating by expanding services! We are going into communities deemed "vulnerable" by CDC with prevention tools and information. Won't you be a part of celebrating Father Bill's legacy by ending the spread of HIV in our community? 


The Poverello Center has a rich and intriguing history. The name, our founder, the richness of community involvement and engagement with volunteers, all have fascinating elements worth exploring.

Ancient tapestry depicting st. Francis of Assisi feeding birds.Il Poverello is the nickname associated with St Francis of Assisi. Founder of the Franciscan Order, born at Assisi in Umbria, in 1181 or 1182 — the exact year is uncertain, but he died there, 3 October 1226. Canonized on July 16, 1228. He worked against great odds including lack of resources to help the less fortunate.

Saint Francis of Assisi abandoned a life of luxury for a life devoted to Christianity after reportedly hearing the voice of God, who commanded him to rebuild the Christian church and live in poverty. He is the patron saint of animals and the patron saint for ecologists. Il Poverello is translated, the poor little one.

The Mission

Founded in 1987 by Father Bill Collins (1931-2017) and his dedicated group of volunteers, the goal was to feed people who were dying alone and rejected by society in large numbers with complications from AIDS. The crisis was so devastating, and he performed so many last rites, that he began to keep a “book of names” so that the community would not forget how many died and who they were. Sadly, that book was lost to time so we must remember those who’ve passed in our hearts.

Today, The Poverello Center, Inc. provides nutritious food, health services and basic living essentials with the highest degree of understanding, respect and love for individuals living with critical and chronic illnesses Including HIV, in South Florida. Our food pantry helps participants with HIV achieve viral suppression at an average 94% among our 2,000 participants. That means that when our viral loads are undetectable, we are unable to transmit HIV to anyone else. We like to say that the HIV epidemic ends with me! All of us can do something to stop the spread of HIV. 

If you're uninfected with HIV, you can remain that way through Post Exposure Prophylaxis, Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis and/or practicing safer sex techniques like proper use of condoms. We can help you get these tools at no cost to you, through the generosity of our donors, the pharmaceutical companies and the proceeds from our 340b pharmacy. 

Funds donated here help pay for prevention services like testing kits, transportation to and from testing, treatment or services, prevention staff salaries and other expenses directly related to testing, treatment and prevention of HIV.


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The Poverello Center Inc

A 501(c)(3) Public Charity

EIN 65-0056218