spotlight

Brad and Ren Stay Housed Together

When Brad Ramsey adopted his new service dog Ren, his landlord threatened to evict him for having a pet. “I felt frantic and heartbroken,” he said. “I’ve been in my apartment for 12 years, and if I had to move, I’d probably have to leave San Francisco, which would make me lose the funding that pays most of my rent. I was really distraught.” Thanks to ALRP Housing Attorney Jaime Rush, Brad won his case and he and Ren are living together happily ever after.

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Jaime’s Win for Four Clients

A few months ago, ALRP Housing Attorney Jaime Rush had four separate clients call in with the same complaint: out of the blue they had received notices from their landlord that their rental subsidies would no longer be accepted. It turned out that they all lived in the same building. “We got their approval to work with them as a group and did quite a bit of research,” said Jaime, “and it looked to us like the landlord’s attempt to cut off these subsidies was illegal.”

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Brian Defends a Client—and His Dog

Brian Brophy’s client was homeless and HIV+, and on top of everything else, his dog had been seized by Animal Care & Control. “His caseworker called me and asked if I could help,” said Brian, ALRP’s HCAP Attorney. “The dog was potentially going to be euthanized because it had allegedly been aggressive. Animal Care & Control wasn’t willing to release it to my client as long as he was homeless, because the dog would be around people constantly…”

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Joining the Board to Help the Community

Originally from Massachusetts, ALRP Board member Tom Hixson moved to San Francisco in 1998. “At that time,” said Tom, “the AIDS crisis really had changed thanks to the new medications. I had the sense of moving into a city where I was arriving right after the worst part of the crisis had passed. I live in the Castro, and I can still feel the impact that HIV/AIDS has had on the community.”

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Seeing the Community’s Need for ALRP Services

Amanda joined the ALRP Board when two long-time Board members from Jones Day, where she’s an Associate, were ready to step down. “I’d already expressed an interest in learning more about ALRP,” she said. “It was important for me to do something to support the LGBT community. Coming to the Bay Area it’s been startling for me to see how big an impact HIV/AIDS still has in this community.

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Honoring a Loved One by Seeking Justice for Others

Our family lost my uncle to AIDS 25 years ago,” said ALRP Board member Matt Richards. “He passed away right on the cusp of when antiretroviral treatments were becoming effective. So for my family, AIDS has always been a deeply personal issue, and my involvement with ALRP has been a way for me to honor him. To be involved in the fight he wasn’t able to carry through himself.”

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Even Heroes Need a Hand

Eloise was contacted by her long-term disability insurer for the first time in two decades. After receiving disability benefits for 20 years, the insurance company called out of the blue to tell Eloise that her policy was being reevaluated. Eloise’s access to housing and healthcare were now in jeopardy. Eloise’s case is just one in many that demonstrates how legal struggles often leave our most vulnerable clients feeling intimidated and insecure.

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Dmitri Helps Save His Client’s Housing

When ALRP Staff Attorney Dmitri Pikman’s elderly client was in danger of being evicted, he knew it was going to take more than a persuasive letter to solve his client’s problems. “In addition to being HIV+ the client had a host of other disabilities,” said Dmitri. “He’d been living in his apartment building for over twenty years, and his housing was in jeopardy because the landlord needed to do building-wide pest control measures…”

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Helping Her Community Every Day

When she looks back on her 10-year ALRP career, Managing Attorney Sara Malan remembers the people she’s served. “Soon after I started at ALRP as a staff attorney I did my first emergency will,” she said. “I went to the hospital to help a client. It was very emotional, and I was so glad to have done something so useful…”

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Turning Heartfelt Lessons into Justice Today

Jeff Jacobi, an ALRP Board Executive Committee member, says he likes to stand up for people who have been marginalized. That might be because of his upbringing in Grand Forks, North Dakota, which taught him in more than one way about the importance of helping others. “The people there are more trusting than they are in San Francisco,” he said. “The natural inclination when we meet people is to think: how can we help them?”

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