About Alliance for Living

History of Alliance for Living

Alliance for Living traces its roots to 1986, when a group of volunteers concerned about the lack of services for area residents living with HIV formed the Southeastern Connecticut AIDS Project (SECAP).

In those early years of the AIDS epidemic, our mission—like other AIDS service organizations throughout the country—was to help people die with dignity because there was no medical treatment back then. Services at the time included counseling, advocacy, housing assistance, transportation, referrals, community meals, workshops, support groups, and access to nutritional and therapeutic programs.

A second group, H.O.P.E. Foundation, was created in September 1991 by a group of friends in the local gay community who had produced fundraising events for SECAP. They believed the community needed a place to raise money for new programs serving people with HIV/AIDS in New London County. In its six years of existence, H.O.P.E. raised more than $350,000, which helped pay for such items as medications, food, massage, support group facilitators, appliances to lend to homebound clients, and emergency grants for assistance with such expenses as utilities and medical equipment.

SECAP and H.O.P.E. merged in 1998 to form Alliance for Living. Local legislators helped the merged organization purchase the Lena Professional Building at 154 Broad Street in New London. The "Living Center," modeled after a similar program in Boston, opened in 1998 withMedical Case Management in addition to providing quality of life services.

Although SECAP and H.O.P.E. no longer exist, each group left a legacy of assisting people living with HIV/AIDS that is all the more special because they did so at a time when there were no other support services available.