Originally known as Tallahassee AIDS Support Services (TASS), Big Bend Cares was formed in 1985 by volunteers in order to provide supportive services to local individuals with HIV/AIDS.
At that time, telephone calls were coming in from people who were infected with HIV or who were worried about the disease. Some of these individuals had been hospitalized and TASS began to recognize the need for home and hospital visits, as well as telephone counseling and group meetings. Although the Panhandle had only a few cases of AIDS by the beginning of 1986, the numbers were clearly increasing.
By January 1987, the number of individuals asking for help was increasing rapidly, and the group decided to call an organizational meeting to recruit more volunteers. It was at this meeting that one of the more experienced individuals present suggested that the organization pursue incorporation. TASS became a non-profit corporation on July 1, 1987.
In October 1991, TASS changed its name to Big Bend Comprehensive AIDS Resources, Education & Support, Inc. (Big Bend CARES), in order to more accurately reflect our range of services and our provision area. The new name was chosen by the board from entries submitted in a volunteer contest to rename the organization.
In 2017, Big Bend Cares expanded by opening Care Point Health and Wellness. The vision for Care Point was to be a one-stop-shop for all your healthcare needs. A place where clients and community members can receive primary care, radiology, dental, prescription refills, and lab work all in one location.
Big Bend Cares provides assistance to people living with HIV and conducts HIV prevention and education programs to the general community. Big Bend Cares is the only AIDS Service Organization (ASO) in the eight counties of Area 2B and serves HIV positive individuals in all 8 counties.
Today, Big Bend Cares’ mission is to advance community wellness for all by providing comprehensive care and promoting sexual health.