Aid for AIDS was founded in 1983 by a small group of friends in the greater Hollywood area to help others in the community devastated by AIDS. Among those early directors of the organization was gay and lesbian civil rights activist Morris Kight. By providing emergency rent, mortgage, and utility payments, AFA allowed people to die with dignity in their own homes. Since its founding, AFA has touched the lives of more than 16,000 men, women, and children.
The Serra Project was founded in 1987 under the sponsorship of seven major Los Angeles County hospitals and the Catholic Archdiocese in response to the growing number of people left homeless by their battle with acute HIV and AIDS. In 1988, the Serra Project opened the first group home in the City of Los Angeles to later be state licensed as a Residential Care Facility for the Chronically Ill (RCFCI). The home continues to serve destitute, AIDS-impacted adults in need of assisted living and hospice care. We also operate the only AIDS group home (Casa Madona) in California that is designed exclusively for single women and women with children. Two other group homes – Soldano House (opened 1990) and Casa de Corazon (opened 2006)- serve the Long Beach AIDS community.
As new drugs began to extend lives, the Serra Project secured the first of what are now nearly 150 rental units of permanent supportive housing for homeless, multi-diagnosed PLWHA and their families in its Community Housing Options at Independent Supported Sites (CHOISS – pronounced “choice”) Program in 1998. Funded primarily by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), CHOISS meets the need for scattered-site AIDS housing that is permanent, supportive and family friendly.
Alliance for Housing and Healing was formed when these two well-known agencies merged in 2009 to create one entity that provides a full continuum of care for men, women, children, and families living with HIV/AIDS. This new nonprofit has an annual budget of $8 million and is the leading provider of housing and directly related support services to people living with HIV/AIDS in Los Angeles County. Drawing on the decades of experience from AFA and Serra, Alliance for Housing and Healing (AHH) is a new name but a deeply ingrained institution.