legal services

Associated Churches of Fort Wayne and Allen County

Associated Churches first became acquainted with the Clinic through their mutual service. “Because we serve a diverse population, the Clinic was already doing ministry in the same places that we were,” says Roger. “We were providing emergency food relief for the food bank and the Clinic was providing intake at the same location.” This put the Legal Clinic on Associated Churches’ radar, and thus, a new relationship was borne.

Brackets For Good Video: Cute Cat Edition

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!

Say Yes: A Message from Executive Director Chris Purnell

Do you know any “Yes!” people in your life? You know what I’m talking about—the kind of person that’s up for anything, always ready to jump on an opportunity at a moment’s notice. Their idiomatic lexicon is replete with sayings like, “Let’s do it!” and “I’ll try anything once!” and “No regrets!”

If you don’t think you have anyone like that in your life, it’s you. For sure.

A New Road

After passing various Driver Safety tests, and with the help of his attorney, Robert was able to submit a Waiver of Reinstatement Fees, which the court granted. This was followed by submitting a request for Specialized Driving Privileges. “It was a long process—it was a year long—and whatever my attorney told me to do, I did,” he says. “Six months ahead of time he told me to start an insurance policy and begin showing a pattern of making payments, although I couldn’t drive. I didn’t question it and I did it. The Prosecutor was floored over that.”

Hope for Homeless Youth

A pivotal element of HYJP is the Program Manager, Ben Hayes. Unlike the two attorneys who work cases for Outreach’s youth, Ben’s position is more nebulous. His job is to build relationships and to create a bridge between their kids and our attorneys. Most of the youth that go through Outreach know what it’s like to be burned by someone they were supposed to be able to trust—in fact, that is usually an inciting incident to them becoming homeless in the first place. “Every one of them is going to have a different story,” Ben says. The one thing they all have in common though? Trauma. According to a series of internal surveys conducted by Outreach in 2014, 71% of their young woman said they were sexually abused before the age of 18 and 88% of their young men saw their mother beaten before the age of 18.

Freedom From Fear

Christine explains, “When you’re talking about a victim, this is someone who has been broken down by someone else … When a victim comes into the shelter, you’re sort of helping them rebuild that. Rebuild their confidence so they know some of the things we take for granted, like you get up in the morning and you do what you want. The victim doesn’t know they can do that because they’ve been under the control of someone else. So I think through the services that we offer the client is able to slowly break out of that shell. Break out and be empowered again and to realize that, ‘Oh, hey, I can do this. I am worthy and I am able to do what I need to do for myself and for my family without being afraid.’”

A Message from the Staff: Julie Mennel

They are seeking the most expeditious and least costly way to put past mistakes behind them, not justify them. They want to pick up and move on for the sake of not only themselves, but for the sake of those who depend on them. In my experience at the Help Desk, those who need expungement are not all the same: men, women, young, old, rich, poor, white, black, Hispanic, educated, uneducated, people of faith, people without a faith connection. They are all different. But what they do have in common is a desire to build a future for themselves that is reflective of who they are today, rather than of their choices yesterday.

Volunteer Highlight: Karen Bruner Stroup

We can all be Connectors by translating who and what we know to assist our communities. At the Legal Clinic, that might mean helping clients collect their documents, bridging the gap between the pro bono housing counselor and the client who is facing foreclosure. Or it might mean helping someone who was recently laid off apply for food stamps. As a Connector, you can ensure that those in our community are able to find and utilize the many resources that may be available, but impossible for them to reach without your helping hand.

Program Highlight: Housing

“If you see some brother or sister in need and have the means to do something about it but turn a cold shoulder and do nothing, what happens to God’s love? It disappears. And you made it disappear.” — 1 John 3:17 (The Message) The Clinic takes this warning seriously. As such, we care deeply about Home. The generosity of our supporters shows that you, too, care deeply. It is written upon our hearts.

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