Preventing Homlessness: Maya's Story
Maya*, a mother of 3 living in public housing, asked for Philadelphia VIP's help to gain title to her deceased grandmother's home. Maya needed assistance with revoking the fraudulent Letters of Administration and then transferring the title to the rightful owner. Maya was determined to move her children out of public housing and into a home they could call their own. VIP matched Maya with Christine Barba, a volunteer attorney from McCarter & English LLP. Christine and Maya were able to successfully expunge the fraudulent deed and to transfer the title of the grandmother's house to Maya. Today, Maya and her 3 children live comfortably in their new home. Maya happily stated, "I had a top notch attorney who worked hard and diligently until the house was in its rightful owner's hands."
Maintaining Income: William's Story
William* collided with a SEPTA bus and although he did not feel responsible for the crash, he stretched his finances to pay for the driver's medical expenses and the property damage to the bus, unaware that his insurance policy was to take effect at midnight the day of the accident. As a result, his insurance did not cover any of the expenses. Six months later, William was served with a complaint for physical and emotional injuries sustained to a passenger on the bus at the time of accident. William turned to Philadelphia VIP for assistance. Attorney Clark W. Pease took the case. Mr. Pease successfully proved that William was only partially responsible and SEPTA paid the entire award to the passenger.
Promoting Community Economic Development: OARC's Story
In 2009, the Ogontz Avenue Revitalization Corporation ("OARC"), a non-profit whose mission is economic stimulation and community revitalization in Northwest Philadelphia, sought Philadelphia VIP's legal assistance to petition for conservatorship of a property that had been abandoned for over 30 years. VIP matched a team of volunteer attorneys from Morgan, Lewis & Bockius ("Morgan Lewis") - Marc Sonnenfeld, Gayle Gowen, and Ezra Church - to represent OARC in this matter. Together, the VIP volunteers and OARC negotiated a purchase from the owner. Mr. Holland expressed his satisfaction with VIP and the volunteer attorneys by saying, "In a word, it was exceptional."
Supporting Family Stability: Robert's Story
Robert’s* niece was a teen mother of two before finishing high school. Addicted to drugs and alcohol, she was unable to care for either of her children. Robert stepped in and was granted temporary custody of both of his nephews. The eldest, was later taken by his father. Robert wanted to provide the baby with benefits, but was consistently prevented from doing so because of his lack of permanent parental rights. Jeffrey R. Boles, a former associate at Dechert LLP and currently an Assistant Professor at Temple University's Fox School of Business, took on Robert’s case. Mr. Boles worked alongside Robert to secure legal recognition as parent to his son. After the adoption was complete, Mr. Boles helped Robert obtain revised government identification forms, allowing Robert to travel freely with his son. Robert says that the intervention of Dechert and Mr. Boles was "God's way of blessing me with a son and giving him all the love and support I never had."
*Name was changed to protect the privacy and anonymity of the client.
Thanks to generous support from people like you, VIP provides pro bono legal services in four priority areas:
Maintaining Family Income: Child support, employment/wage claims, tax issues, and disability.
Preventing Homelessness: Mortgage foreclosure, landlord/tenant appeals, public housing evictions, probate, tangled title, consumer debt, and litigation defense.
Supporting Family Stability: Child custody, adoption/guardianship, special education and school discipline, name change, and immigration issues.
Promoting Community Economic Development: Non-profit organization and small business assistance.
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