IMPACT: Public Benefits for Children and Families

Community Legal Services has a proven track record of helping low-income families access significant public benefits that help them feed, house and get medical care for their children. Regulations regarding the receipt of public benefits are often so complex and difficult that a lawyer is required to correctly interpret and apply them. While a social worker can help a family fill out an application for benefits, it usually takes an attorney to appeal an incorrectly denied application, or to interpret how to access the appropriate level of benefits. For instance, a family may appear to be over the income level for a benefit, but they may not have used the appropriate deductions that would allow them to qualify for it. Because of CLS’ in-depth knowledge and our ability to advocate with public agencies, CLS often obtains successful outcomes for our clients.

IMPACT: Safe and Sound

It is no secret that violence in the streets is one of Philadelphia’s most pervasive problems. Often unseen, however, is the rampant violence hidden within Philadelphia’s homes, despite its widespread, cross-cultural, and cross-generational presence.[1]Even more unrealized are the collateral effects of sexual and domestic abuse; victims suffer not only the physical[2] and emotional consequences of abuse[3], but also  the legal issues that arise, such as denial of housing, or eviction based on past incidents of violence. Although more than 100,000 domestic violence reports are filed to the Philadelphia Police Department annually, the city has just two shelters designated for victims of domestic violence, with only 200 beds. Housing discrimination, coupled with a crippling lack of resources for victims of domestic and sexual violence, often leaves the abused with nowhere to turn but the streets.

Transition Memo on Philadelphia Department of Human Services

For over three decades, the Family Advocacy Unit at Community Legal Services has represented thousands of low-income parents in child welfare cases. We have a unique interdisciplinary practice model and a demonstrated commitment to holistic, high-quality parent representation. In addition to individual representation, Community Legal Services engages in systemic advocacy at the local, state and…