William Booth Legal Aid Clinic adds new assistant director, moves Oakland office

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The Salvation Army announces the promotion of Amy Roemer to assistant clinic director of the organization's William Booth Legal Aid Clinic. The three-year employee, a resident of Oakland County, previously worked as an on-staff lawyer at the clinic. She sees clients daily at The Salvation Army's Harbor Light location in Detroit, weekly at The Salvation Army's new Pontiac Corps Community Center and twice a month at the Adult Rehabilitation Center in Detroit. She also attends various Salvation Army events and meetings on the clinic's behalf and supervises student interns and a part-time Staff Attorney. As a client advocate, she works with the courts to ensure client needs are being heard.

"What we are seeing now is a shift in our clientele," said Roemer, who is based at The Salvation Army Harbor Light Center in Detroit. "Where we used to have mainly inner-city and homeless clientele, we are now seeing more former middle-class clients who have found themselves without the ability to pay the mortgage or the water bill. We added foreclosure and debt services to our services, which helps to meet that need," she said.

The Salvation Army William Booth Legal Aid Clinic exists to address the legal problems of the resident population of The Salvation Army Harbor Light treatment facilities; those receiving social services from the various Salvation Army corps; and those living in poverty within the greater community. The goal is for all to serve as productive, self-sufficient members of society, free from legal entanglements. It's that mission that attracted Roemer to The Salvation Army an organization, the clinic and the position itself.

Since its inception, the clinic has handled 14,000 new clients and assisted in more than 10,000 court cases to ensure legal representation for people in economic need. They help an average of 1,500 people each year. The clinic will also have an office in The Salvation Army's new Pontiac Corps Community Center, at 469 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd S. The building was dedicated on Sunday, March 27. Clinic office hours are one day a week. To schedule an appointment, call (313) 361-6340.

The William Booth Legal Aid Clinic was established in August 1994 for the purpose of improving and facilitating the administration of justice in the community. The clinic became part of The Salvation Army in January of 2000, and is under the direction of a volunteer Advisory Council and operates with a minimal staff of clinic director/attorney, executive director, assistant clinic director/attorney, one part-time attorney, an administrative secretary and legal externs. Additional staffing is provided by volunteer law students, paralegals and attorneys.

Among Roemer's new duties is pursuing new fundraising opportunities. According to Executive Director Ellen Dickman, the clinic relies partially on donations and has goals to become self-sufficient in the near future. To make a tax deductible donation, mail to: William Booth Legal Aid Clinic, 3737 Lawton, Detroit, 48208, or donate online at www.salmich.org and choose "Booth Clinic."

Attorneys may also make donations via the State Bar of Michigan's Access to Justice program at www.michbar.org/programs/ATJCampaign/home.cfm

Published: Fri, Apr 1, 2011

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