by Adam Delezenne
In the first half of 2019, our staff and volunteers have delivered more than $256,000 in legal services to our clients through our free clinic programs. Clinics meet three times a week and serve people who have the greatest need for legal services and the least able to afford them. When our clients come to us, we don’t ask them to prove their income or residency status, we simply ask how we can help. The Ford Fund, the Oakland County Bar Foundation and the First Presbyterian Church of Pontiac make this possible by providing the core support for our clinics. Their support for this first part of the year enables SWIRC to return $8.50 in legal services for every $1 invested.
All this is because of our skilled volunteers
We can see such a dramatic ratio because of our volunteer model. No other legal clinic uses volunteers as we do. We put our skilled volunteers to work talking to clients, listening to their stories, and asking insightful questions. When they have the relevant facts, they consult with the clinic supervisor, a licensed attorney, to devise a course of action. This practice lets us separate people who simply need help filling our forms or applying for services from those who really do require the help of an attorney or representation in court. Regardless of the need, our legal staff consults on every issue that clients bring us.
Come Help Us – Volunteer, Donate
You don’t need to be an attorney to help immigrants and refugees in our communities. Our volunteers represented a great diversity of backgrounds and skills, let us know if you are interested.Donations make a big difference as well. Our clinics are supported by core funding partners but all of the legal work done outside the clinics is paid for by our community of donors. Come join us, make a gift today.
The Southwest Detroit Immigrant and Refugee Center provides free and low-cost legal services to those who need them most in the Detroit area, with a focus on recent immigrants and refugees.
We were founded in 2014 by Kevin Piecuch, our Executive Director