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    Maitri Celebrates 31 Years of Service to the Community at Bliss 2018

    Maitri has provided compassionate care to our community’s most vulnerable with advanced HIV since 1987. The venerable organization is one of the city’s most respected and valued resources in providing such essential medical care. On May 6, Maitri will celebrate its well-deserved 31st anniversary. The event, Bliss 2018, will be held at the beautiful Julia Morgan Ballroom in San Francisco on Sunday, May 6, from 4:30–8 pm.

    Maitri will take the opportunity to honor former Executive Director Bill Musick and Kirsten Havrehed for 20 years of service to the organization’s family. Musick, who was ED from 1997–2000, helped with the organization’s move from a residential hospice on Hartford Street to the current location at 401 Duboce Avenue. He returned to the organization in the summer of 2017 to guide and lead Maitri as Interim ED. During that time, he assisted in getting two new tenants to their building’s first floor. One of them is CorePower Yoga ( The other tenant is expected at the end of the year.

    Havrehed joined Maitri in 1997 as a volunteer. Since then, she has raised thousands of dollars—at least $60,000—for the organization via her popular annual holiday jam and bake sales. The offerings are incredibly delicious, with the proceeds going to a great cause.

    Speaking of food, Bliss 2018 will be catered by Credo Restaurant. The event will feature powerhouse singer and original Dreamgirls cast member Jennifer Holliday. Do you remember Holliday’s 1982 Tony Award performance of “And I’m Telling You”? Many believe that it was one of the award show’s best ever moments. You can see it at YouTube (

    Entertainment will also be provided by Jason Stuart, guitarist/vocalist Jonny Zywiciel and vocalist Frenchie Davis. A live auction will additionally take place, with proceeds benefitting the medical care of Maitri residents. The auctioneer and host will be Dale Johannes. The live auction items will include a Portland, Oregon, vacation package; “date night for a year” (15 gift certificates); a 50-bottle wine cellar starter kit; a Hawaii vacation package and a travel package to Normandy, France!

    Maitri’s Development Officer, Toni Newman, will be leaving the organization just 3 days after Bliss 2018. But we are happy to report that Newman will soon be taking the helm as Executive Director of St. James Infirmary ( If you have not already read Newman’s best-selling 2011 memoir I Rise – The Transformation of Toni Newman, we recommend that you soon check it out, as well as the film short Heart of a Woman that is based on the book.

    For more information about Maitri and Bliss 2018, please visit:

    Spring at Maitri

    By Anne Gimbel

    While it can be easy to get consumed with hurt and urgency, claiming space to reconnect to nature, renew our spirit and build resilience for each day is vital for all of us and for our residents. Spring is a time of renewal, a time of building a sense of trust and connection. It is also a time for weeding, for pruning, and for grafting to grow more without adding more.

    At Maitri, we have added beautiful sliding doors for our outside patios with ADA buttons so our residents in wheelchairs and walkers can easily enter and leave the space. Three resident rooms have received a complete new fresh coat of paint, and every bathroom has a new exhaust fan. 

    Chris, our volunteer, has been giving our plants special food, so they are growing rapidly, and new hanging plants have been added to our lush outdoor patio. As the HIV epidemic has been fueled with stigma, discrimination, and ignorance, our residents are experiencing a home with beautiful updates and a safe place to live and not be alone.

    Thank you for your continued support and dedication to Maitri’s life of thirty-one years! We are keeping our promise that no one should have to die alone with the great help of our dedicated staff and well-trained volunteers. We do count on the generous gifts from folks like you and promise our stewardship of each dollar given. Most importantly, I hope to see you at Bliss 2018 on May 6!

    Anne Gimbel is the Executive Director of Maitri.