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.”
This final month of spring, we considered our role in the community and the role of community in our lives. We learned about various problems such as vacant housing and veteran homelessness that are affecting Indianapolis, as well as the programs and organizations that are trying to combat such issues. To introduce the Legal Clinic more fully to the city, we hosted our first monthly community prayer meeting and the second annual Jazz for Justice event.
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.
This rainy month of April we spent time ruminating on how our faith compels us to acts of compassion. In lock-step with this theme, the Clinic’s semiannual Refugee Adjustment Day* took place on April 25th. On that day, 24 volunteers from College Park Church (as part of their annual SERVE day), plus 9 additional volunteer attorneys, worked with our staff to help 62 immigrants apply for Legal Permanent Residence. All in one day!
It is easy to understand how and why other people hurt—at least when they’re in your office, crumpled tissues in hand, the empathy flows. But sympathy and empathy alone can leave you in the realm of pitying people. And we have not been called to pity people. Our call is to “(a)dminister true justice; show mercy and compassion to one another” (Zechariah 7:9).
Have you been trying to decide how to get more involved with your community, but don’t know where to start? Want a fun night out with a humanitarian twist? Join us for our 2nd annual Jazz for Justice event, a night full of jazzy tunes and scrumptious food (we’re talking Cajun BBQ meatballs, roasted veggie platter, spinach-artichoke dip, and chocolate-covered strawberries!).
The Civil Legal Advice Line is beautiful in its simplicity: For those who live outside of the counties the Clinic serves with on-site intakes, clients can now call 1-877-230-7521 on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 9:00AM to 5:00PM. During this call, they can speak with an attorney and receive free legal information and advice.
UPDATE: Thank you for supporting #TeamJustice and helping low-income families receive free legal services by making a donation to Neighborhood Christian Legal Clinic. We may be out now, but during […]
I am pleased to introduce to you, Megan Lewis, outstanding volunteer at the Neighborhood Christian Legal Clinic. Megan has a long history with the Clinic starting out as a VISTA […]