Blog

Sharing Fair Housing Strategies

As part of the fair housing project I have been leading at MHAS this year, I have had the pleasure of collaborating with many new community partners. This week has been particularly exciting as my project partnered to present two trainings that were a powerful reminder of both how eager many housing providers are to […]

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Amnesty Program for Traffic Fines

If you get caught speeding in many parts of Europe, you will pay a fine proportionate to your income. In the United States, the fine for a traffic or other infraction is the same for everyone, regardless of income. Infraction tickets in California typically run to the hundreds of dollars—an amount that is out of […]

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NYU Law Students Volunteer at MHAS

During their spring break in March 2017, three first-year students from New York University School of Law volunteered on an alternative spring break trip at Mental Health Advocacy Services in Los Angeles. The students, Chantalle Hanna, Ana Namaki, and Lauren Richardson, attended MHAS’ monthly legal clinic in Pasadena, tabled at U.S. Vets in Long Beach, […]

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Veteran and Single Father Facing Eviction

“Daddy, someone’s here!” As I stood outside my client’s front door, I heard the patter of a little girl’s feet, followed by the deep thud of her father’s footsteps. When you think of homeless veterans, you might not think first of single fathers. Yet here I was, working to help a young father who had […]

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A New Beginning

I’m a brand new lawyer who just passed the bar and here I am at Mental Health Advocacy Services in charge of a new veterans’ legal services project.  As an Equal Justice Works AmeriCorps Veterans Legal Fellow, I work exclusively with veterans facing housing loss, debt, public benefits denial, and tickets, fines, and warrants. Beginning my […]

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Public Interest at USC Gould

Jim Preis, Executive Director of Mental Health Advocacy Services and Professor at USC Gould School of Law attended an event to promote public interest law. The event was held at USC Gould School of Law in November, 2016 with representatives from Los Angeles’ leading legal aid and advocacy organizations. Get the full story: http://gould.usc.edu/press/article.cfm?newsid=4332

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Transition and Reflections

by Eliza Schafler Eliza Schafler is an MHAS Equal Justice Works Fellow sponsored by Greenberg Traurig, LLP. I have had the privilege of working at MHAS for the past two years as an Equal Justice Works Fellow, generously sponsored by Greenberg Traurig LLP. In that time, we have created our Behavioral Health-Legal Partnership (BeHeLP) – […]

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Utility Debt: Challenges and Victories

by Eliza Schafler Eliza Schafler is an MHAS Equal Justice Works Fellow sponsored by Greenberg Traurig, LLP. At MHAS, many of our clients incur utility debt. This type of debt can be caused by general financial hardship; it may also pile up when a person is hospitalized, suffers abuse, or is forced to leave home […]

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Facts of Homelessness

by Eliza Schafler Eliza Schafler is an MHAS Equal Justice Works Fellow sponsored by Greenberg Traurig, LLP. I have written previously about the importance of using eviction defense and other legal services to prevent homelessness before it starts. I have also mentioned the disastrous potential mental health consequences that homelessness can cause. Today, I want to […]

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Feeling Patriotic This Fourth of July

by Eliza Schafler Eliza Schafler is an MHAS Equal Justice Works Fellow sponsored by Greenberg Traurig, LLP. This Fourth of July, we at MHAS are feeling especially patriotic, thanks to decisions from the Supreme Court that positively impact the communities we serve. First, there is health care. Last week, the Supreme Court upheld a portion […]

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Bringing Legal Help to Lancaster

by Eliza Schafler Eliza Schafler is an MHAS Equal Justice Works Fellow sponsored by Greenberg Traurig, LLP. Yesterday was an important day: We gathered our summer law clerks and staff, drove through the desert, and launched our first MHAS legal clinic in the Antelope Valley city of Lancaster. The clinic was held at the Lancaster Office of […]

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Grandparent Caregivers and Planning for the Future

by Eliza Schafler Eliza Schafler is an MHAS Equal Justice Works Fellow sponsored by Greenberg Traurig, LLP. Lately, in our Behavioral Health-Legal Partnership (BeHeLP), I have seen a number of cases involving grandparent caregivers. These caregivers come to me not with emergencies, but with long-term questions about how to plan for their grandchildren’s futures. For […]

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