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Bay Area Reporter
ALRP set to turn 30

<p>Cynthia Laird</p>

January 24, 2013

The AIDS Legal Referral Panel will commemorate its 30th anniversary this year and the agency will soon kick off a yearlong fundraising effort to raise $300,000 to meet growing client needs.

ALRP, which depends on staff lawyers and the volunteer services of about 700 panel attorneys, helps people living with HIV/AIDS maintain and improve their health by resolving their legal issues. It provides free and low-cost legal services and education in areas such as housing, employment, insurance, confidentiality, family law, immigration, credit, government benefits, and public accommodations. It is the only such organization in the seven-county Bay Area, officials said.

The theme of the agency's campaign is "ALRP: 30 Years of Justice from the Heart."

"ALRP is truly a collaborative effort, with our board, volunteer panel attorneys, donors, event volunteers, and staff of 11 all working together to meet the growing need for our legal services - a need that increased by 50 percent over the last eight years," Executive Director Bill Hirsh said in a statement.

ALRP has an operating budget for this year of just over $1 million.

To launch the effort, ALRP will host a reception Tuesday, January 29 from 4 to 6 p.m. at the San Francisco LGBT Community Center, 1800 Market Street. Admission is free, but there will be opportunities to support the agency by purchasing ALRP Private Reserve wines, samples of which will be available, or gold bracelets through its partnership with Until There's A Cure Foundation.

Hirsh said the agency hopes to raise the $300,000 from foundations, corporations, and individual donors. The campaign is intended to stimulate a higher, sustainable level of donor giving, and aims to ensure ALRP's long-term financial stability. It has already secured pledges of more than $75,000.

In the fiscal year ending December 31, 2012, nearly 80 percent of ALRP's revenue went directly to support its program services (over 90 percent when donated legal services from panel attorneys are included). Last year the agency handled more than 2,000 legal matters for almost 1,500 PWAs.

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