FRLS Board Meeting Notice
The next Board Meeting for Florida Rural Legal Services will be held on Saturday, October 6, 2018 @ our Rivera Beach office from 10:00am until 3:00pm – 2051 Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, Suite 101, Riviera Beach, Florida 33404.
September 26, 2018
Dear Voices community,
The Voices team is pleased to alert you to a simple-yet-powerful new resource, a 70-second animated explanation of why civil legal aid is necessary to ensure fairness in the justice system.
Kudos to the Illinois Equal Justice Foundation for creating the original version, and a big thank-you to the Kresge Foundation for providing support to make a universal version that we all can use to better explain what civil legal aid is, and why it is so important.
You can find the video on Vimeo by clicking on the image below. It is also available on the Voices website.
***channel 5 news coverage of the event https://youtu.be/rPfoY46bKso ***FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
BOYS TO MEN EMPOWERMENT SUMMIT
FORT PIERCE – August 16, 2018 – “Boys to Men Empowerment Summit”
City Commissioner Reggie Sessions in collaboration with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Saint Lucie County launched its second Boys-to-Men Empowerment Summit on Saturday, August 11, 2018 at the Percy Peek Gymnasium, welcoming 140 young men ages 10 to 22.
“The Boys-to-Men Summit is focused on providing education, advice, mentorship and guidance to young men on decision-making, raising the bar on our standards, and conflict resolution. This initiative is to help our young men become men, to reduce gang violence, improve graduation rates, and educate these young men on what it means to have a healthy relationship” said Commissioner Reggie Sessions.
The Honorable Judge Daryl Isenhower spoke to the young men about avoiding the pitfalls of crime. Stephen Fromang encouraged the men to stay on the right path. Deputy Chief Kenny Norris educated the youth on avoiding gangs and violence. Deputy Tommie Johnson highlighted information on the Juvenile Justice System: Awareness and Prevention, along with countless other pastors, and community leaders. Attorney Donald Watson was present, along with State Representative Candidate Kim Johnson. The event was a great success and will be offered at various times throughout the year.
Commissioner Sessions emphasizes that the event would not have been possible without event coordinators Jovona I. Parker, Esq. Staff Attorney at Florida Rural Legal Services, Inc. and Deborah Edwards, Recreation Supervisor with City of Melbourne, along with all of the community partners, facilitators and amazing volunteers.
The Summit was made possible thanks to the generosity of local business such as Boys & Girls Clubs of St. Lucie County * Florida Rural Legal Services, Inc.* Treasure Coast Food Bank * St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office * Tropical Recycling * Fort Pierce Utility Authorities * City of Fort Pierce * Hoyt C Murphy Jr. * Dunkin Donuts * AL Johnson & Associates -Jackson Hewitt * Kinfolks .* House of Meats * VIP Urban Fashions * MLB2 Barbershop * Chris Cutz * D Best Barber Shop & Beauty Salon *Treasure Coast Chapter of The Links, Inc.*
June 26 Event Assists Seniors with Legal Needs
“Resourceful Strategies for Older Adults” presented by Florida Rural Legal Services in partnership with Area Agency on Aging for Southwest Florida
Fort Myers, FL (June 12, 2018)— Seniors face an array of unique legal needs, including issues such as advance directives, elder abuse, and probate issues. To help Southwest Florida seniors and their caregivers better understand their legal options, Florida Rural Legal Services is presenting a half-day workshop, “Resourceful Strategies for Older Adults,” on Tuesday, June 26. The event is presented in coordination with the Area Agency on Aging for Southwest Florida (AAASWFL) and is funded through the Florida Department of Elder Affairs.
The June 26 workshop will be held from 9:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. at the Riverside Community Center in Fort Myers (3061 Riverside Dr.). Seniors and caregivers interested in attending should reserve a seat by calling Florida Rural Legal Services at 239-334-4554.
The event will assist FRLS and AAASWFL in identifying and addressing the legal needs of vulnerable seniors in Southwest Florida.
“We will discuss topics that are important to Southwest Florida’s older adults,” explains Lorraine Barker, paralegal at FRLS. “These include bankruptcy, divorce, domestic abuse, advance directives, nursing homes, and financial obligations after the death of a spouse.”
Florida Rural Legal Services is a nonprofit law firm that provides civil legal advice, representation and education for people with limited incomes, including elders and migrant workers. FRLS provides free services to those that qualify. More information is available on the firm’s website: www.FRLS.org.
The Area Agency on Aging for Southwest Florida is a nonprofit organization serving Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Glades, Hendry, Lee and Sarasota Counties. AAASWFL is the state’s designated Aging and Disability Resource Center for Southwest Florida. The organization is committed to helping adults ages 60 and over and people with disabilities to live with independence and dignity in their own homes and communities. More information is available at www.aaaswfl.org or by calling the toll-free Elder Helpline at 966-413-5337 (866-41-ELDER)
Area Agency on Aging for Southwest Florida, Inc.
Charlotte I Collier I DeSoto I Glades I Hendry I Lee I Sarasota
Tampa, FL, June 4, 2018 – Senior Connection Center is encouraging individuals to wear purple on June 15th in recognition of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD).
Did you know that every day 10,000 people turn 65 in the US alone? That trend is going to continue for nearly the next 20 years. Our demographics are shifting, and we will soon have more elder people in the US than ever before. At the same time that the population is growing, we know that a startling number of elders face abusive conditions. Every year an estimated 5 million, or 1 in 10, older Americans are victims of elder abuse, neglect, or exploitation. And that’s only part of the picture: Experts believe that for every case of elder abuse or neglect reported, as many as 23.5 cases go unreported.
WEAAD serves as a call-to-action for individuals, organizations, and communities to raise awareness about abuse, neglect, and exploitation of elders. The International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse and the World Health Organization at the United Nations (UN) launched the first World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) on June 15, 2006 in an effort to unite communities around the world in raising awareness about elder abuse. WEAAD is in support of the UN’s International Plan of Action acknowledging the significance of elder abuse as a public health and human rights issue.
If you would like more information about this topic, please contact Patricia Henderson at 813-676-5609 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Florida Rural Legal Services Launches Drive to Work Initiative to Help Poor Residents Whose Driver Licenses Were Suspended or Revoked
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
LAKELAND, Fla. – February 28, 2018 – Florida Rural Legal Services (FRLS) has started a new initiative to help low-income residents of South Central Florida get their driver licenses restored after they were suspended or revoked simply because they were too poor to pay financial obligations to the courts.
FRLS’s new Drive to Work Project is focusing on providing education, advice, direct representation in assisting individuals deprived of lawful transportation needed to get to and from work, medical appointments, care for sick or disabled family members, and take their children to after-school activities.
The project is funded by a grant from Florida Bar Foundation and will pay for two full-time attorneys and one part-time legal professional who will work with low-income residents and individuals touched by the criminal justice system residing in the 10th and 19th Judicial circuit including Polk, Highlands, Hardee, St. Lucie, Martin, Okeechobee and Indian River Counties
Close to 91,000 Florida driver licenses were suspended for failure to pay court-ordered financial obligations in 2015-2016 alone. Florida laws suspending or revoking driver licenses for failure to pay costs and fines has a devastating impact on people with little or no ability to pay.
Through the Drive to Work Project, FRLS will work to improve economic opportunities by assisting people in obtaining affordable payment plans which will allow them to have their driver’s license restored.
FRLS will partner on the project with Southern Legal Counsel in Gainesville, with its 40 years of experience working to make positive, systemic change to achieve social, economic, racial, and environmental justice.
Florida Rural Legal Services Executive Director Resigns
Grissim Walker Appointed As Interim Executive Director
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
LAKELAND, Fla. – February 19, 2018 – Florida Rural Legal Services (FRLS) is announcing that Donald Isaac has resigned from his position as the organization’s Executive Director, and the organization’s former Board member Grissim Walker has been appointed to serve as Interim Executive Director.
Mr. Isaac has devoted much of his professional legal career at FRLS, a Lakeland-based nonprofit that providing free civil legal assistance to thousands of seniors, people with disabilities, and other low-income people in many areas of the law. Mr. Isaac started out as a clerk in the organization and worked his way up to become staff attorney, senior advocacy director, deputy director, and eventually Executive Director.
“The Board thanks Mr. Isaac for his time and leadership provided to FRLS and wishes him well and only the best in his next endeavors,” said Arthur Schofield, President of FRLS Board of Directors. “Mr. Isaac worked to develop relationships and expand resources in those communities allowing FRLS to supplement its LSC funded activities. Under his leadership, FRLS has provided services to help the most vulnerable individuals and families find their path out of poverty, live independently, and contribute to making our society a better place for all; a commitment and path that will continue for years to come.”
FRLS’s free legal services will continue to operate without change, as the FRLS Board of Directors searches for candidates to fill Mr. Isaac’s position.
Mr. Walker assumes this position with a wealth of knowledge in the operation of FRLS having served on the Board since 2004. He also has years of experience in the area of civil legal assistance, having worked as a staff attorney with Gulfcoast Legal Services, Inc., from 1992 to 1996 and as an associate of Consumer Lawyers of the Suncoast, P.A., a private law firm from 2005 to 2012. A native of Sarasota, Florida, Mr. Walker is a graduate of Duke University and Florida State University College of Law and holds a Masters of Laws in Tax from the University of Florida.
Mr. Schofield added: “The Board is confident that Mr. Walker will provide the best of leadership guidance to FRLS as the Board works to identify the next Executive Director.”