LAD Outreach: Association advises low-income people at local community service events

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Attorneys and paralegals from Legal Aid and Defender Association, Inc. (LAD) interviewed dozens of homeless and other low-income people during two recent community service days in Oakland and Macomb counties:

—Community Resource Day at St. Saint Vincent De Paul Catholic Church in Pontiac Nov. 17, sponsored by the Oakland County Taskforce on Homelessness and Affordable Housing.

—Community Connection Day at Trinity Lutheran Church in Utica Nov. 19, sponsored by the Macomb Homeless Coalition (MHC).

LAD was one of a number of government agencies and nongovernmental organizations participating in these events.

“We’ve attended them every year for the past five years,” said Kelly L. Bidelman, managing attorney of LAD’s Oakland County office in Pontiac and Macomb County office in Mount Clemens.

In addition, LAD’s outreach coordinator, JoAnn Fowler, was co-chair of the planning committee for the Nov. 17 Oakland event, Bidelman said.

“Legal services provided on site by LAD are vital to these events,” said Carrie Fortune, an attorney who serves as continuum of care coordinator for the Macomb County Services Agency and as director of the MHC.

Approximately 250 low-income people attended the Pontiac event and 200 the Utica event, Bidelman said.  As a result of their interviews, the LAD staff attorneys and paralegals from her offices opened several case files, she said.

LAD is Michigan’s largest provider of free civil legal services to low-income residents.  It serves metropolitan Detroit through its offices in Macomb, Oakland, and Wayne counties.  It also represents criminal defendants in Wayne County and the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan.  Including brief consultations and comprehensive legal services, the public law firm handles some 15,000 legal matters yearly.

Anyone seeking legal services can call (877) 964-4700 or visit http://www.ladadetroit.org.

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