Shepherd Wellness Center began when four young men living with AIDS, a social worker and a physician met with Episcopal Priest Father Lynn Edwards, Dr. Bill Brandon and Cynthia Klemanski to discuss the effects of AIDS and HIV infection in the Pittsburgh area.
The men wanted a safe and secure haven where they could socialize with their friends and speak openly without fear. That meeting led to the start of Wellness Dinners at the Church of the Good Shepherd in Hazelwood. The first dinner was held in October 1987. In 1990, Friday Wellness Dinners were moved to the First United Methodist Church in Shadyside. In 2001, the Bloomfield Community United Methodist Church and parsonage were donated to SWC for one dollar.
From that meeting grew the Shepherd Wellness Community, a gathering place and resource center for people with HIV/AIDS and their loved ones. The first dinner was held in October 1987, and the tradition of nourishing meals accompanied by health educational programs, peer support, wellness classes and socialization continues to this day.