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About the Commission The Commission is committed to educating the bar and the public about homelessness and poverty and the ways in which the legal community and advocates can assist those in need.

Legal Talk Network interviewed panelists from the Combating the Criminalization of Homelessness program at the 2015 Annual Meeting. They spoke about homelessness, Homeless Courts, and the role of young lawyers. You can listen to the full
interview here

How to Identify the Legal Needs of Runaway and Homeless Youth and Where to Turn for Free Legal Assistance
California Coalition for Youth's Youth Empowerment Summit
April 16, 2018, Sacramento, CA

How to Identify and Remove Legal Barriers: Practical Strategies for Providers
2018 National Network for Youth

March 20, 2018, Washington, DC

Preventing Homelessness for System-Involved Youth
Linda Britton and Lisa Pilnik, March 2018

Providing Wrap-Around Services to Homeless Families
Presented at the Institute for Children, Poverty & Homelessness: Beyond Housing 2018
New York, New York
Amy Horton-Newell, ABA Commission on Homelessness & Poverty
Michael Santos, National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty

How to Identify and Remove Legal Barriers: Practical Strategies for Providers
2018 National Network for Youth

March 20, 2018, Washington, DC

2017 National Coalition for Homeless Veterans Annual Conference: Yes, In My Back Yard
May 31 – June 2, 2017 • Washington, DC
[ABA Program Materials]

Military & Veterans Legal Services Network Summit
June 23-24, Washington, DC
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April 16, 2016, Montgomery, AL

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April 15, 2016, Selma, AL

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April 14, 2016, Birmingham, AL

Homeless Court Program: Taking the Court to the Streets
February 19, 2016, Seattle, WA

 

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February 5, 2016, San Diego, CA

Collaborate to Advocate: Lawyers and Communities Working to End Poverty
October 2, 2015, Miami, FL

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July 31, 2015, Chicago, IL

Combating the Criminalization of Homelessness: The Role of Young Lawyers
ABA Annual Meeting, Chicago, IL
July 31, 2015

Dress Boho Chevron Casual Tank Top Women's Long Empire Maxi International Summit on the Legal Needs of Street Youth
June 16-17, 2015, London, UK

Collaborate to Advocate: Lawyers and Communities Working to End Poverty
April 20, 2015, Deland, FL

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February 6, 2015, Houston, TX

Eliminating Debt and Combatting Poverty: How to Effectively Address Consumer and Tax Debt, Child Support Arrearages and Court-Imposed Legal Financial Obligations
ABA Midyear Meeting
February 6, 2015, Houston, TX

National Aging and Law Conference: 50th Anniversary of the War on Poverty: Progress & Challenges for the Future
October 16-17, 2014, Washington, DC

The Right to Food: Harnessing a Human Rights Framework in Local and State Advocacy Efforts
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Presented at the Fighting Hunger in Maryland: From the Ground Up Fourth Annual Conference presented by the Maryland Food Access and Nutrition Network in Baltimore, MD, Sept. 29, 2014

This session featured  information on the American Bar Association’s resolution on the human right to food and guidance on implementing the human rights framework to enhance local and statewide policy advocacy efforts. Immediate past Commission Chair, Antonia Fasanelli (Executive Director of the Homeless Persons Representation Project in MD), presented along  with former Commission member Robin Runge (George Washington University Law School). Commission member Jeremy Rosen (National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty) assisted with developing the session.  
View Program Materials from the Session

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The War on Poverty: Is Every Lawyer a Soldier, or Are We Tilting at Windmills? 
July 28, 2014 • Washington, DC

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Martha Bergmark, Director of Voices for Civil Justice and Member of the Commission on Homelessness and Poverty gave opening remarks at the recent War on Poverty Program, which featured Sister Simone Campbell, Professor Anthony Cook, Professor Peter Edelman, and Johnathan Smith. The program was moderated by Thomas Susman.

Watch the program video below.

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Join us to celebrate 30 years of homeless courts and to chart the course for the next 30 years and beyond!

2018 Homeless Court Summit
November 13, 2018
University of San Diego
Kroc Institute of Peace and Justice

Click here to register.  

"The 'Graying' of Homelessness"
Jeff Yungman, Member of the Commission on Homelessness & Poverty, One80 Place Legal Services/South Carolina Homeless Justice Project
May-June 2018

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ABA Support for S. 743, a bill to strengthen the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness

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Project Street Youth: Young Lawyers Advocating for Homeless Youth
A project of the Young Lawyers Division, Center on Children and the Law, and the Commission on Homelessness and Poverty

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"Returning Home . . . to Homelessness: San Diego’s Homeless Court Program Models Ways to Help"
An article in the Fall-Winter 2014 Issue of Experience Magazine by Steve Binder and Amy Horton-Newell

 

"Lawyers learn to help veterans receive benefits"
This ABA 2014 Midyear Meeting program taught lawyers how to represent veterans in the benefits claims process.

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"My veteran, my client"
The Coordinating Committee on Veterans Benefits and Services held a roundtable discussion at the ABA 2014 Midyear Meeting on addressing the legal needs of veterans. 

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Public Interest Law Profile

The Division for Public Services honors the accomplishments of ABA lawyers associated with our Division committees and commissions who are dedicating their time and energy to the public interest. We are pleased to introduce PAUL FREESE, Special Advisor on Homeless Veterans to the ABA Commission on Homelessness and Poverty and Co-chair of the ABA Coordinating Committee on Veterans Benefits and Services.

Chair: Craig Baab

Maxi Empire Women's Long Boho Top Dress Casual Tank Chevron Board of Governors: Erica R. Grinde

Staff: Amy Horton-Newell

The Commission on Homelessness & Poverty recieves funding through the ABA Fund for Justice and Education (FJE). Support the ABA Commission on Homelessness & Poverty by making your gift online today!

donate.americanbar.org/homelessness

 As a 501(c)(3) charitable fund, all contributions to the FJE are tax deductible to the full extent allowed by law.

If you are interested in the work of the Commission on Homelessness and Poverty and would like to become involved in the American Bar Association, click here to join today.

Lawyers working in government or legal/public service not-for-profit organizations engaged primarily in legal- or policy-based advocacy for low income persons qualify for reduced dues as members of the American Bar Association. Find out more.

A resident at One80 homeless shelter in Charleston, South Carolina approached the legal team to request help resolving a shoplifting charge in Columbia. While there is currently no Homeless Court in Charleston, South Carolina, the legal team at One80 Place, which is working hard to establish one, approached the Homeless Court in Columbia, South Carolina. 

The resident had been charged with shoplifting in Columbia.  In November 2015 she moved to Charleston and to One80 Place to get a new start.  While at One80 Place she restarted her mental health treatment, attended substance use classes, applied for disability benefits, and worked with her case manager to find housing.  However, she still had the shoplifting charge, which by this point had become a bench warrant for failure to appear in court, hanging over her.

The legal team at One80 Place contacted the attorneys at the Nelson Mullins Law Firm in Columbia who were instrumental in starting the Homeless Court there. They contacted the assistant solicitor who agreed to consider the resident for participation in the Homeless Court.  The legal team submitted a Homeless Court application and the resident was accepted.

On June 28, 2016 the One80 Place legal team drove the resident to Columbia for her appearance at the Homeless Court.  A member of the team testified for the resident confirming that since November the resident had continued with her mental health treatment, maintained her sobriety, successfully moved into a mobile home, and was slated to receive her first disability check.  After hearing what the resident had accomplished, Judge Dana Turner dismissed both the warrant and shoplifting charge.

Observing firsthand the Columbia Homeless Court process and how it worked to give the resident credit for all that she had accomplished, has strengthened the resolve of the One80 Place legal team to continue their efforts to create a Homeless Court in Charleston.

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