Our weekly clinics are only possible because of several sustaining partners who believe in investing in justice in their communities. The Ford Fund is our longest standing community partner, and will support us again in 2019. They support two of our three free legal clinics, those located in Southwest and Eastside Detroit. They provide not only the space but also the funding necessary to have professional legal staff at each clinic.
There are many legal clinics in the Detroit area but there are a couple of things that make us unique. We are one of the few that take any client with any legal issue. We are there consistently, every week; this is what has allowed us to build a reputation in the communities we serve.
We are also unique in that we make use of volunteers, with varied backgrounds and experiences, to help an average of 40 clients per week. Our volunteers are students, nurses, teachers, professionals, and attorneys. Volunteers form teams that ask good questions and then work with the supervising attorney to devise a solution. Sometimes it is something volunteers can finish with the client, sometimes an attorney needs to get more closely involved.
Last year, working this way we were able to return five dollars for each one invested by our partners!
The Ford Fund is dedicated to making a serious positive impact in the Southwest and Eastside neighborhoods through the Ford Resource and Engagement Centers where our clinics are located. We set up there alongside many other organizations who also deliver services through the space. Among them are Gleaners Community Food Bank, SER Metro, Living Arts, Men of Courage, and La Sed.
The Southwest Detroit Immigrant and Refugee Center is proud to work there among them and to count the Ford Fund as one of our most important partners!
The Southwest Detroit Immigrant and Refugee Center provides free and low-cost legal services to underserved communities in the Detroit area, with a focus on recent immigrants and refugees.
We were founded in 2014 by Kevin Piecuch, our Executive Director and principal attorney, to help meet the great need for quality legal services in underserved communities. We believe that everyone deserves justice regardless of your country of origin, the color of your skin, or your ability to afford an attorney.