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“Community Legal Services is the single most important organization to prevent homelessness.” – Sister Mary Scullion, Executive Director, Project HOME
When low-income Philadelphians are threatened with homelessness, Community Legal Services (CLS) tackles tough issues to give our clients a safe place to live. CLS works to prevent many of the causes of homelessness, stabilizing neighborhoods and saving money for the City. It can cost up to $60,000 to put up a family in a shelter, but CLS’ work to keep a family in their home is a fraction of that cost.
We prevent homelessness by standing up against:
Wrongful Eviction: When desperate low-income tenants face eviction. CLS is there. Not only do we keep people in their homes, but we also strengthen protections for tenants so others do not face eviction.
Unnecessary Foreclosure: CLS is on the cutting edge of foreclosure prevention work, including preventing property tax foreclosures and helping homeowners access mortgage payment assistance programs.
Illegal Nursing Home Discharge: Nursing homes sometimes threaten to illegally discharge patients to homeless shelters, but CLS works to keep patients in their nursing homes and off the streets.
Domestic Violence: When public housing residents are victims of domestic violence, CLS helps them obtain safe housing. Our advocacy has increased protections for DV victims in Philadelphia.
Deep Poverty: Deep poverty is harmful to all aspects of someone’s life, including their housing. CLS helps clients obtain vital forms of income support, including TANF and SSI, so people don’t have to choose between paying for housing, food, and other necessities. We also break down employment barriers so our clients can work, becoming stable and self-sufficient.
Utility Shutoffs: Lack of heat, electricity, or water service can force a family from their home. Pennsylvania is currently experiencing record levels of utility shutoffs, but, when clients come to CLS, we help them restore life-essential utility service so they can live safely in their homes.