Aid for Aids and the Serra Project Announce Merger, Two Southern California HIV/AIDS Non-Profits Join Forces to Offer Comprehensive Care

March 12, 2009 (PRLEAP.COM) Business News
Los Angeles (March 12, 2009) - Aid for AIDS, one of California's oldest continuously operating AIDS service organization with 25 years of uninterrupted emergency housing, utility, and medication assistance to the Los Angeles County HIV/AIDS community, announced today that it has merged with Serra Ancillary Care Corporation (doing business as The Serra Project), a 21-year-old non-profit based in Pasadena, California, offering supportive services and housing to HIV/AIDS-impacted families.

As a merged organization, the new $8.1 million annual budget non-profit will offer a continuum of aid to the Southern California HIV/AIDS community in need of both short-term and longer-term housing assistance as well as supportive services and case management. Specific programs include direct emergency housing assistance, permanent housing, group home and congregate living, quality-of-life assistance such as direct financial grants for utilities and health insurance, delivered groceries, transportation, funds to cover over-the-counter and dietary supplements not covered by MediCal, and counseling and referral services. The merged organization will continue to maintain both operating names, Aid For AIDS and The Serra Project, under the corporate umbrella name of Serra Ancillary Care Corporation. Existing offices in West Hollywood and Pasadena will be maintained.

Terry Goddard II, executive director of The Serra Project, with 18 years of non-profit service leadership in the HIV/AIDS sector, has been named the executive director of the larger, merged organization. Mr. Goddard previously served as executive director of Aid For AIDS from 2002 to 2006, and also served as deputy director at the agency prior to assuming the executive director position. In his role as executive director of the merged organization, Mr. Goddard will continue to liaise closely with City of Los Angeles and regional government officials who allocate and oversee Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program grants and funding for emergency and long-term housing programs for persons living with AIDS (also referred to as HOPWA assistance).

"As HIV/AIDS organizations continue to reshape themselves to remain relevant in servicing the changing needs of this community, we saw a true strategic opportunity to join Aid For AIDS with The Serra Project," said Brenda Goodman, President of the combined Board of Directors.

"Our consolidation will enable us to deliver a broader continuum of care to those disabled by HIV/AIDS than we would be able to offer as individual agencies," noted Laurie Hasencamp, former Chair of The Serra Project Board of Directors.

Both non-profits currently operate on a fiscally sound, deficit-free budget basis and no duplication of staffing is anticipated. Thus, agency clients, donors, and foundations currently
working with Aid For AIDS and The Serra Project will continue to interface with the same dedicated professionals who assist nearly 1,000 people per year living with HIV/AIDS in Southern California

Aid For AIDS' much-anticipated, annual fundraiser "Best in Drag Show" (BIDS), which has raised more than $1.2 million since 2005, will continue with board member Tim Sullivan serving as board liaison to the producer and director. Celebrity judges at the most recent BIDS event included Charlie Sheen, John C. Reilly, and Kathy Griffin, among others.

Under the merged organization, the new officers for the Board of Directors include: Brenda Goodman, Board President, Woody Sides, Vice President; John Monahan, Treasurer; and Sallie Olmsted-MacKinnon, Recording Secretary.

The merged organization will maintain its Professional & Artisans Council and Medical Advisory Committee, two volunteer groups comprised of individuals invited to serve on these respective committees in recognition of their expert services and donation of extensive time and resources to the non-profit.

About Aid For AIDS
Aid For AIDS was founded in 1983 by a group of friends and has grown into a premier service provider for Los Angeles County. The organization's mission is to provide direct financial assistance and critical support for the necessities of life to those impoverished and disabled by HIV/AIDS. Through careful management and a continued focus on mission, more than 90% of revenue goes to client programs. More information about AFA can be found at the agency website: www.AidForAIDS.net.

About The Serra Project
Serra Ancillary Care Corporation (doing business as The Serra Project) operates two distinct yet complementary AIDS housing programs:
- Four group homes located in Long Beach and Los Angeles offer assisted living to chronically ill persons with HIV/AIDS in need of 24-hour care including skilled nursing, meals and counseling. These facilities are licensed in the state and county as Residential Care Facilities for the Chronically Ill (RCFCI).
- Community Housing Options at Independent Supported Sites or CHOISS (pronounced "choice") provides permanent supportive housing and service coordination throughout Los Angeles County to AIDS-impacted individuals and their families at 85 scattered-site apartment units.
More information about The Serra Project can be found at the agency website: www.serraproject.org.

Media Contact
Terry Goddard II, Executive Director
Phone: 323-656-1107, Ext. 2112, or 626-403-4216
Email: tgoddard@serraproject.org