What are common misconceptions about the IRS? What tips do you need to know to avoid tax scams? And what can you do if you become the victim of a tax scam or identity theft? In this episode of Courting Justice, senior staff attorney and Director of the Low Income Taxpayer Clinic Dee Dee Gowan joins Betsy Isenberg, Director of the Consumer Protection Division at the Office of the Indiana Attorney General, in answering these questions.
Members of the same church, Nick and Chris began to meet regularly for Bible study and coffee back in 2009. Through that close relationship, Nick’s eyes were opened to the great need in our city. “I never really was aware of the legal inequities that our society heaps on the poor, and how difficult it is for many people to navigate a complex legal system that should be protecting them,” he says. “Through getting to know Chris, praying with him, and seeing his passion for serving this community, it began to resonate with me.”
On Wednesday mornings, clients at the Clinic can fill out a small form if they would like prayer. At times, the language barrier complicates things, but Christine trusts the Holy Spirit to guide her. For one woman in particular, Christine felt a powerful need for safety, and so she prayed for a hedge of protection. She then learned more of the woman’s story, which included sexual abuse, drug trafficking, and much danger. Christine says Kathleen told her, “This is not an atypical story.”
As we move out of February, the Clinic is again taking part in Brackets For Good, a competitive-giving March-Madness-style tournament. For Round 1, the Clinic is up against FACE Low Cost Animal Clinic. The match-up has one of our attorneys particularly nervous in a brand-new video.
Staff Attorney Chase Haller is feeling pretty nervous about the cuteness factor of going against FACE Low Cost Animal Clinic in Round 1 of Brackets For Good 2017, so he seeks some advice from an expert, Tommy the Cat.
Support #TeamJustice in Round 1 of #BFG17, which ends at 7:59PM on Friday, March 3rd!
But then, Dany began to have health issues. He went to see a doctor and learned that he needed emergency brain surgery and hospitalization. Without the surgery, his doctors told him he could go blind, might become paralyzed, or might even die. Although Dany did not have health insurance, he and his wife decided to go forward with the life-saving surgery. Slowly, he began to recover, but the procedure left Dany’s family deeply in debt.
Serious crimes and convictions only make up 15% to 20% of the approximately 45,000 charges filed every year. Therefore, for the MCPO, protecting the public means dealing with lesser crimes in a more innovative way. “The idea is if you can address those problems of criminogenic needs then perhaps you can get them back on a straight path. You can’t just address the drug problem; you can’t just address the alcohol problem; you can’t just address the mental health needs,” Andrew says. “You’ve also got to work with different groups and agencies so that you can help them find a better place to live, get a job—which is not just a job, it’s something that’s more career oriented for them. Try to help them keep their families together.”
Due to recent events, the Clinic hopes to clarify and provide information to the public and our supporters regarding refugees. In the upcoming days, we’ll be sharing stories of just a few of the clients we have come to know and appreciate on social media, so be sure to like us on Facebook. We’ll also be sharing more information about why the Clinic serves refugees and why we believe this work is an important part of our mission.
While Neighborhood Christian Legal Clinic’s main office is located in Indianapolis, there is also a satellite office in Ft. Wayne. Desiree Koger-Gustafson serves as its Director and part-time attorney, while Cathy Warney serves as the only full-time employee. In addition to her paralegal duties, she also handles reception and coordinates volunteers. “My days are pretty crazy,” says Cathy. “I wear lots of hats.”