In 2017, the Legal Clinic for the Disabled marked its 30th Anniversary―an occasion celebrated with a sense of accomplishment and pride. We have come a long way since our humble origin when one attorney served one client at Magee Rehabilitation Hospital. Over the past 30 years, with the support of Magee, LCD has grown and expanded to include a staff of thirteen serving over 3,500 clients each year in Philadelphia and the surrounding counties.
The theme of this annual report is “Partnering for Change.” In these troubled times, I believe change is only really possible when change makers join forces. In this report we honor and thank those who have helped LCD in the communities we serve thorough our Medical Legal Partnership (MLP) Initiative, Community Legal Outreach Clinics, Housing and Habitability work, and continuing outreach into the poorest communities in Philadelphia.
LCD’s staff attorneys and paralegals are co-located in eight MLPs in hospitals and health centers across Philadelphia. Together, medical service providers and LCD attorneys work to effect positive change in the lives of low-income persons with disabilities. Our medical partners are trained to screen their patients for social determinants of health that are legal in nature and immediately refer them to LCD attorneys working on-site at that healthcare center. It is with the support of our MLP partners that our reach into the disability community is so great.
We also reach our client communities through Community Legal Outreach Clinics, joining forces with pro bono volunteer attorneys to provide legal services at sites where our clients live or receive services. These attorneys, who give freely of their time and talent, are an inspiration and reflection of the Philadelphia legal community’s compassion and desire to give back.
On any given day, LCD staff attorneys are advocating for clients in court, helping families gain access to safe, affordable housing, and visiting clients in their homes. I am honored and humbled to work with LCD’s staff who work so hard each and every day to promote equal access to justice and help those who are often in desperate need. Our staff reflects all that is best in non-profit lawyering.
Fighting systemic injustice cannot be done alone. I also want to thank the legal services community for its support and collaboration this year. LCD is proud to be counted among the Philadelphia legal
services agencies working to address the disparate treatment of people who live in substandard
housing and experience eviction at an alarming rate. This collaboration, supported by the City of Philadelphia, will change the legal landscape for many impoverished people living with disabilities and I am confident that it will reduce the power imbalances that too often disadvantage low-income individuals.
LCD is eternally grateful for our many donors and volunteers. Your generosity and loyalty continues to strengthen the depth and breadth of our service to low-income people living with disabilities in the Philadelphia region.
Finally, I want to thank LCD’s Board of Directors for their ongoing support, advice, and counsel.
I am honored to present this 2017 Annual Report. I invite you to get to know LCD better through the stories of our medical partners and of our work. I know you will be as impressed as I am at the power of “Partnering for Change.”
Linda Peyton, Executive Director
For more on our partnerships, please view our 2017 Annual Report.