A Fresh Start for Ebony
Ebony and Stephen on move-in day
Every week, we see the impact of our work in people’s lives. Providing legal advocacy can be life-changing for the people we serve, and we thought we would take a moment to share with you one of our recent successes, and the kinds of partnerships that make genuine change possible.
Though long-time ALRP client Ebony resided in a supportive housing building, she did not feel terribly supported there. For years she faced identity-based discrimination concerns, privacy issues, and she even experienced an assault by another resident without any meaningful action being taken by the building’s management.
For years ALRP’s HIV Consumer Advocacy Project Staff Attorney Stephen Spano had advocated for her to get a room with her own bathroom and although that request was technically granted, the building’s management only placed her on a waitlist which had over 200 people on it.
Finally, after over two years of advocating with government agencies, ALRP was finally able to secure Ebony a long-term, deep housing subsidy in a building where she can have a private bathroom as well as a number of other amenities.
While her rent will actually decrease in her new apartment, the supportive services available to her will increase. After signing her lease last month, ALRP was able to secure practical support for Ebony’s move so she could have a fresh start.
Ebony has lived a life with more than her share of knocks. But through it all she has demonstrated a remarkable level of strength and resilience. HCAP’s curly-haired and doggedly persistent Staff Attorney Spano made all the difference in pulling together the many strands that needed straightening in order to land Ebony a new home.
Ebony agrees with us at ALRP that Stephen is “one of the good ones!”
Bay Area Physicians Make an Impact
The Bay Area Physicians for Human Rights (BAPHR) is the world’s first organization of gay physicians. Founded in 1977 in San Francisco, the organization is dedicated to improving healthcare in our community and nurturing the careers of LGBTQ medical professionals in the greater Bay Area. BAPHR members have a robust and dedicated history of support for ALRP, and have made annual grants to ALRP since 2008.
Notes Executive Director Bill Hirsh:
“It means so much to us when a professional association like BAPHR sees the value of our work enough to make this kind of long-term commitment. It is wonderful to see what a few doctors and lawyers can do to address the health of people living with HIV.”
In the earliest days of the AIDS crisis, BAPHR physicians played a critical role in providing education, prevention services, and direct patient care during a time of immense fear and discrimination about the disease. Over the years BAPHR members have remained dedicated to the local community and to many organizations, like ALRP, which provide direct services to LGBTQ populations and those impacted by HIV.
BAPHR’s Board President, Murtuza Ghadiali, MD, FASAM – puts it this way:
“We are so proud of BAPHR’s rich history in supporting the LGBTQ community, and we are grateful for our support from our BAPHR members that allow us to continue this work. We are honored to be a longstanding supportive partner of ALRP.”
When people come to ALRP for help, they are often seeking to guard against disruptions to their housing, income, health care services and immigration status — which are vital to their very survival. Every day, we see how stable housing and access to care play a direct role in improving long-term health outcomes, while saving truly significant healthcare dollars that would otherwise be spent through City emergency systems.
It remains true as ever: Housing is healthcare. Recent studies show that only 20% of people with HIV who are unhoused are virally suppressed, while 80% of those with stable housing are virally suppressed. Viral suppression greatly reduces the risk of HIV transmission.
BAPHR’s grant supports ALRP’s work on behalf of seniors living with HIV. With over 70% of people living with HIV now over age 50, BAPHR’s support allows us to serve this growing segment of the HIV community.
Thank you to BAPHR for your important collaboration with ALRP and the greater LGBTQ community. Here’s to many more years of impactful work together!
For more information about BAPHR or to join as a member, visit:
 JAIDS Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes
From Founder to Family
Mark Senick has been with ALRP since the very beginning. An ALRP founder, Mark jumped into action to meet the need for wills in the height of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Almost four decades later, he remains a pillar of our ALRP family.
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