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The AIDS Legal Council of Chicago (ALCC) is the only legal organization in Illinois devoted solely to preserving and protecting the rights of men, women, and children living with HIV/AIDS. Every year, ALCC assists thousands of people through its no-cost legal services, community education sessions, and policy and advocacy efforts. ALCC provides legal council to meet the growing needs of underserved communities. Experienced staff provide the following legal services: help immigrants get legal permanent residence, assist in applying for SSI/ SSDI and Medicaid/Mediare, dealing with debts, responding to discrimination at work or home, healthcare and insurance issues, preparing wills, powers of attorney, family planning/guardianship for children of parents with HIV, and youth services. ALCC also provides free workshops and trainings for HIV related legal issues.
New cases of HIV/AIDS are highest among youth ages 13-24. Yet, few youth seek out services or take action when their rights are being violated. Many times it is because they are isolated or feel that services traditionally designed for adults aren't equipped to meet their specific needs. ALCC initiated project with HIV impacted youth from across the city to address these problems. Together they founded the Youth Legal Rights Project, an initiative led and run by youth to educate their peers about the law when it comes to HIV/AIDS. Through the medium of theater, poetry, art, and dialogue, the Youth Legal Rights Project has visited youth at schools, churches, community groups, and service centers to get the word out that youth have legal rights when it comes to HIV and can act on them.
- Dale Green
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