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Slide Our organization makes a difference in the communities we serve because we change lives by helping people get access to justice that we all want and need. We do this through our legal services Every day, our attorneys and staff work to create opportunities for the most vulnerable individuals and families to find their path out of poverty, live independently, and contribute to making our society a better place for all of us to live. check_circle Vision, Mission and Values check_circle Legal Needs in Florida check_circle Our History check_circle Leadership check_circle Attorneys and Staff check_circle Community Partners FRLS assisted AB, a disabled senior citizen who could not read or write. She was a victim of exploitation and as a result, her home was in foreclosure. We represented AB and the foreclosure was dismissed. This year Florida Rural Legal Services helped over 21,440 low income individuals and families facing civil legal issues. We also provided free legal education to over 12,000 individuals in the communities we serve. Office Hours

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About FRLS We change lives by helping people get access to justice SOME OF OUR ACHIEVEMENTS VIEW OUR ACHIEVEMENTS

Slide Florida Rural Legal Services serves people living in 13 counties across Florida: Hardee, Highlands, Polk, Charlotte, Desoto, Glades, Hendry, Lee, Martin, Okeechobee, Indian River, St. Lucie and Palm Beach. We offer free civil legal assistance to seniors, people with disabilities, and other low-income people in many areas of the law including evictions and landlord abuse, foreclosure rights, public housing, housing discrimination, denial of public benefits, divorce, child custody and visitation, domestic abuse, debt collection and unfair loans, immigration, and much more. HOUSING LAW FRLS advocates provide free legal aid to individuals in our service area on issues such as eviction, illegal lock outs, terminations of tenancy, public housing denials and more. FAMILY LAW FRLS advocates provide free legal aid to individuals in our service area on issues such as divorce, paternity, temporary custody, adoptions and more. PUBLIC BENEFITS FRLS advocates provide free legal aid to individuals in our service area on issues such as Social Security Denials, Food Stamp Overpayments, Veteran’s Benefits, and more. INDIVIDUAL RIGHTS FRLS advocates provide free legal aid to individuals in our service area on issues such as human trafficking, name changes, expungements, and more. CONSUMER RIGHTS FRLS can help you protect your consumer rights involving purchases, income, property, contracts, loans, and debts. ELDER LAW FRLS advocates provide free legal aid to individuals in our service area on issues such as wills, advanced directives, elder abuse, nursing home issues, and more. IMMIGRATION FRLS advocates provide free legal aid to individuals in our service area helping with filing for I-90’s, U-Visas, N-400’s, and more. If you would like to contact someone in our Migrant Farmworker Unit, please call
EDUCATION Florida Rural Legal Services advocates on behalf of low-income children and disabled children who experience unmet needs in their educational systems. Our lawyers and staff work with families to ensure the right of their children to receive an education
We are here to help you SERVICES PROVIDED Our legal services are intended to help individuals and families establish stable housing, maintain jobs, and remove barriers that cause poverty.

Please note: We do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, disability, age, sexual orientation and gender identity, in the delivery of services.

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Slide Executive Team Jaffe Pickett Executive Director Amy Burns Deputy Director Wanda Dutcher Director of Finance & Accounting Carolyn Fabrizio ProBono Director Rudy Chagoya Information Technology Director Roberto Cruz Advocacy Director Cameron Clarke Human Resource Director FRLS LEADERSHIP

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Florida Rural Legal Services Supports Racial Equity and
the Global Movement for Criminal Justice Restructuring

Florida Rural Legal Services, Inc. (FRLS), joins our partners for justice across the country and worldwide, in mourning George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and countless others. These deaths are constant reminders of the inequities and systemic racism ingrained in policies and practices of law enforcement and show us the justice gaps that must be filled to fulfill America’s promise of justice for all.

As the nation faces the challenges of a global pandemic disproportionally harming select groups, we have now been forced to face the reality of other harms caused by centuries of injustices impacting criminal, economic and social justice harms emerge through access to healthcare, biases in medical treatment, the growing racial wealth gap, targeted police brutality and other wrongs preventing health and prosperity for black Americans, which echo in Mr. Floyd’s last words, “I can’t breathe”.

These words represent the pain and hardship of many black citizens and other people of color, surviving generational poverty for centuries, which have never been fully addressed to allow healing and real unity for all Americans. The solution for these ills, which continue to result in tangible harms including deaths, cannot be found in webinars watered down to eliminate uncomfortable feelings, surveys or ambiguous statements of support from corporations without real dialogue around change and void of deliverables to ensure the changes needed are consecrated. The answer does not lie in hashtags and social media trending topics that often dissipate before any real discussion on change begins. America must find a way to prevent these injustices and solutions are found in concerted efforts from every American -from changing educational curriculum to prioritizing community economic redevelopment, as many legal services programs are doing across the country-these and other measures will help to end the plague of systemic racism ingrained in institutions across the country.

When Black Americans say I can’t breathe, so too should every American!

FRLS believes that racial equity is a part of our mission of equal access to justice and ingrained in our ongoing fight to curtail the systems that cause circular poverty and obstacles to justice.

FRLS was founded in 1966 and as Florida’s first legal services program serving Migrant farmworkers. Today FRLS continues to provide essential legal services to migrant farmworkers throughout the state of Florida and also provides legal services and community education and outreach to low income and vulnerable populations including housing protection, consumer protection, family law, public benefits and other individual rights, such as expungements and driver’s license re-instatement and other community re-entry services.

Jaffe S. Pickett

Jaffe S. Pickett, Esquire is the Executive Director of Florida Legal Services and is a longtime advocate for issues surrounding the criminalization of poverty and criminal justice restructuring. Pickett has offered testimony to the Department of Justice as well as the Alabama Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights and has spoken regionally and nationally on topics surrounding the importance of free civil legal aid. Pickett published “A Guide for Community Redevelopment & Economic Improvement Projects: A Replication Guidebook for Legal Aid & Community Organizations” in 2019 and continues her lifelong passion of advocating for free civil legal aid to impoverished individuals and communities at FRLS.