October 14, 2021
The Legal Aid Society of Northeastern New York (LASNNY), along with long term community partners Albany Law School and the Albany Damien Center have received nearly $1 million from the to provide legal services for individuals and families grappling with HIV/AIDS and the treatments needed to combat the disease.
The grant, “Legal Services for Individuals and Families to Support Continuity in HIV Care” – is a renewal of previous funding that has supported the collaboration between the organizations for decades providing $196,113 annually awarded for five years starting in January 2022.
“We are very pleased that the Department of Health has recognized our expertise in and dedication to meeting the civil legal needs of those living with HIV and AIDS,” said Victoria Esposito, Advocacy Director for the Legal Aid Society of Northeastern New York and supervisor of the HIV/AIDS Law Consortium (HALC) program. “We look forward to our continued work with our partners, Albany Law School and the Albany Damien Center. Although medical care for people living with HIV or AIDS has improved exponentially over the last decades, they still have unique legal needs which must be addressed quickly and sensitively; over the last five years the HALC grant has allowed LASNNY and our partners to assist over 600 individuals with these needs, ranging from advance planning to housing to discrimination to disability and public benefits.”
“The Albany Damien Center has long recognized the critical impact psycho-social support has on the health of families impacted by HIV and AIDS. We are thrilled to partner with Legal Aid and Albany Law School in providing assistance through our Behavioral Health team for each family who needs us.” said Perry James Junjulas, Executive Director of the Albany Damien Center
Joseph M. Connors, Director of the Health Law Clinic within The Justice Center at Albany Law School added, “This funding helps ensure the mission of the Center will continue in earnest. Our advocacy to secure federal disability benefits, facilitate kinship care arrangements, and maintain adequate housing for individuals and parents living with HIV helps meet an important community need while helping state and local counties save money.”
The Legal Aid Society of Northeastern New York advises and assists low-income residents of Northeastern New York with civil legal issues at no charge. If you need help, please contact LASNNY by calling (833) 628-0087.