Monday, November 11, 2013
The November 7 issue of the Chronicle of Philanthropy provides great coverage on the importance of Legal Aid organizations in disaster relief. But what first caught my eye were the photos that accompanied "A Nonprofit Pushes to Make Legal Aid Key Part of Disaster Services," by Nichole Wallace, depicting a mobile "Legal Help Center" operated by New York Legal Assistance Group.
The article explains:
"Less than a year old when [Hurricane Sandy] struck, the 41-foot vehicle is a joint project with the New York State Court's Access to Justice Program. The idea is to take legal services into neighborhoods to reach people who have trouble getting assistance because they lack transportation or child care, have a disability, speak little English, or fear coming into the office because of their immigration status.
The Mobile Legal Help Center can accomodate up to 17 people at a time, and has videoconferencing capabilities that allow access to judges for emergency proceedings, such as unlawful evictions and orders for protection in domestic-violence cases."
What a creative approach! And wouldn't mobile units be useful in providing legal services for older clients, with or without a natural disaster as the reason?