Eric Johnson, the son of Church of the Redeemer parishioners Bill and Ann Johnson, contracted AIDS and died of the disease in 1990. Luckily, Eric had the full support of his family—something that is not a reality for many people living with HIV/AIDS. Thus, The Eric Johnson House on the Redeemer grounds was designed to aid people in need of housing and support service who are homeless as a result of, or adjunct to, their HIV/AIDS status.
For a quarter-century, the Eric Johnson House in Morristown provided a temporary haven for people coming to grips with HIV-AIDS.
But times change, and treatment methods change, and the transitional home behind the Episcopal Church of the Redeemer closed its doors on January 1st, 2019.
“It’s very bittersweet,” said Laurie Litt, CEO of New Jersey AIDS Services Inc., which leased the facility from Redeemer. “For me, 25 years of my life have been spent at the Eric Johnson House.”
But the trend now is for permanent housing for this population, and NJAS will concentrate its efforts on that, she said.
The nonprofit will continue providing support services for the HIV-AIDS community from its Morris Plains offices, on the former grounds of Greystone Park State Psychiatric Hospital.
Established in 1992 as a non-profit organization, the Eric Johnson House was a place for those who needed a safe haven while trying to obtain the services and support necessary to regain control of their lives. It was not a hospice or a medical facility, but rather a housing program that provided the security and dignity necessary to enable residents to become empowered and make realistic decisions about their future. The Eric Johnson house was the result of a grassroots endeavor to renovate and operate a transitional housing program for people living with HIV/AIDS as they secured permanent housing.
The Eric Johnson House was located in the former rectory of the Church of the Redeemer. The rectory, which is no longer used by the Church for its original purpose, is located in Morristown’s central business district. It is accessible by car or public transportation and within walking distance of grocery stores, parks, medical providers, banks, and other area businesses. The location ensures the maximum independence of its residents. Fully accessible for wheelchairs, the house contains on-site laundry and cooking facilities. The Rectory is available to rent. Please call the church office for more information: 973-539-0703.
For more information: Eric Johnson House