April 08, 2010
Every first Sunday of every other month I volunteer to serve meals for about 120 homeless people in Upper Darby. Recently, however, we served over 314 people. We are also seeing more women and children in the line for food.
Students interested in public interest law are very aware of the issues of unemployment and homelessness that now face many Americans. In this post, I offer some resources that may be useful for students interested in helping address these problems.
The website of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) site has information for local homeless assistance by state. The site covers a wide range of social and protective services for the homeless. The page also has information for homeless assistance providers, and it even tells how you can donate to your local food bank and how kids can help the homeless.
Just Neighbors: An Interactive Poverty Awareness Program “is a dynamic interactive program that allows you to walk in the shoes of the poor, experience their frustration, and learn how to help.” Family Promise, which hosts this program, helps mobilize over 125,000 volunteers nationwide, in an effort to build communities and strengthen lives.
Penn Law’s Toll Public Interest Center also attacks homelessness. One of its student pro bono projects, Penn Law Homeless “Advocates,” partners with the Homeless Advocacy Project in Philadelphia (HAP). Together, the two organizations run a weekly legal clinic at a nearby homeless shelter. The Advocates also provide assistance beyond regular clinic hours as needed. Michael LiPuma (L’94) is the supervising attorney for the Advocates. For additional information contact Anna Carlsen (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Evan Hannay (Evan_Hannay@law.upenn.edu)
Why not get involved? It does not take too much time and it is a great way to give back to the community.