Although we consider every month to be pro bono month at the ACBA, we’re taking October to highlight the great work of the Volunteer Legal Services Corporation (VLSC), the pro bono arm of the ACBA, on the blog.
Many hard-working people in Alameda County are one unexpected event away from a financial crisis. For Johnny*, this event was a back injury that he suffered at work. The injury left him disabled and unemployed.
When he came to the VLSC Bankruptcy Clinic in March, he had already been through several back surgeries and expected to have several more. Johnny’s only income was his disability check, which was less than $900 each month. He struggled to pay his rent and avoid homelessness, and was unable to make payments on the $15,000 in medical debt he had amassed.
Johnny came to VLSC weighed down by the burden of his debt and feeling unequipped to tackle the bankruptcy process alone. Attorneys at the Bankruptcy Clinic referred Johnny to the Bankruptcy Form Completion Clinic, where volunteer Jeff Hoffman helped him complete the appropriate forms and explained the details of the filing and post-filing process.
Thanks to the generosity of VLSC donors and volunteers, Johnny was able to complete his bankruptcy filing and hopes that freedom from debt will allow him to focus on staying healthy and finding safe, affordable housing.
*Name has been changed to protect client privacy.
Would you like to get involved? Donate your time by volunteering at one of our legal clinics, or if you don’t have the time, support VLSC financially! Please contact Director of Access Programs Elizabeth Hom with any questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.