Homelessness PreventionPublic Counsel's Homelessness Prevention Law Project strives to reduce the number of homeless individuals in our community by focusing on the needs of populations that are at high risk of becoming chronically homeless. The project provides representation to individuals or families and offers regular clinics. Read More
For more information about our services, call:
- (213) 385-2977 x 400
We’re making connections.
The General Relief Advocacy Project is now Public Counsel CARES: Connecting Angelenos to Resources and Essential Services. Los Angeles residents in need count on critical public services to feed their families or keep a roof over their heads. For nearly 25 years, Public Counsel has been on their side.
- Community Fights to Protect Angelenos Who Need the General Relief Program Los Angeles County's General Relief program is a lifeline for thousands of Angelenos struggling with homelessness, mental illness, and extreme poverty. Public Counsel and other groups are working to stop proposed changes that would hurt residents. Learn more about this critical program and how you can help.
- San Pedro Partnership Is 'Crucial' for Residents in Need of Legal Help Public Counsel’s partnership with Toberman Neighborhood Center shows how we take a small-town approach to people in need of good legal help.
- The Sequester and Social Security The Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act (BBEDCA), also known popularly as the sequester, will not affect the payment of ongoing Social Security or SSI benefits, or affect Medicare or Medi-Cal. Those programs are specifically exempt from cuts under Section 255 of the Act.
- Direct Deposit now required for Social Security and SSI payments As of March 1, 2013, recipients of Social Security, SSI, Veterans, and other federal benefits payments must choose an electronic or direct deposit method of receiving the monthly payments. There will be virtually no more paper checks after that date.
- USC Law Student Connects the Dots on Preventing Homelessness USC Law student Marlena McMurchie's work with Public Counsel CARES has "helped to remind me why I went to law school in the first place," she says.
- Antelope Valley Students Fight for Families' Rights "When people get the benefits they need, it is life changing."
- Get Public Counsel's 2011-2012 Annual Report More cases, more impact, more amazing stories. Get the full story in Public Counsel's 2011-2012 Annual Report.
- 'We Are Public Counsel': Snapshots from the 2011 Pro Bono Awards Public Counsel celebrates the attorneys and professionals who helped us provide free legal help and change thousands of lives. "Our honorees are talented attorneys and professionals and they are making our city and nation a better place to live," said President and CEO Hernan Vera.
- We're Helping Mothers with Their Lives, not Just the Law Public Counsel's medical-legal partnership with SHIELDS for Families and St. John's Well Child and Family Health Center can keep small problems from becoming big ones.
- Paraplegic Patient "Dumped" Without his Wheelchair A 43-year old paraplegic man who was homeless was discharged from the hospital onto skid row without his wheelchair. Public Counsel helped him secure shelter and medical care, and fought for new discharge protocols for future homeless patients.
- Homeless Students are Back on the Bus to School Public Counsel and other advocates fight to ensure that homeless children receive appropriate transportation to be able to finish the school year.
- Entrepreneur Emerges from Homelessness Kika moved to Los Angeles with the dream of making her small business a success. Although personal challenges led her to spend time in a homeless shelter, she is now back on her feet and successfully expanding her company.
- Pregnant and Homeless Denise was 19 years old, single, pregnant, homeless, and had outstanding tickets when she met Public Counsel AmeriCorps Legal Fellow Christine Khalili-Borna at a legal clinic provided by Public Counsel in a drop-in center for homeless youth.
- LA Times: L.A. to ask high court to overturn ruling on homeless belongings City cites public health threat in seeking the reversal of a lower-court ruling barring random removal and destruction of unattended personal property.
- LA Times: Los Angeles County officials considering welfare crackdown Advocates for the poor contend the crackdown would end up denying help to some of the region's most destitute residents who are eligible for assistance. "They are absolutely going to cut the number of people" receiving general relief payments, said Jennifer del Castillo, an attorney with Public Counsel Law Center. "But they are going to do this by putting in place these administrative hurdles that people can't overcome, rather than eliminate people who shouldn't have GR."
- Daily Journal: Litigators take up the fight for state court funds Public Counsel is part of a major new effort to protect California courts from cuts that hurt the public.
- Long Beach Gazette: Court For Homeless Offers New Start For Long Beach City Prosecutor and man he once prosecuted for living on the streets, homeless court was an eye-opening experience.
- Saving the Life, Heart and Soul of the Law One night Paul Freese, the director of litigation and advocacy for Public Counsel, stopped by Von's to grab some food on his way home from work. This story describes what happened next.
- Using tax dollars to turn lives around is money well-spent It isn't cheap, but numerous studies suggest mental health courts cost no more than traditional courts and might prove to be cheaper over the long term, with much more to show for the investment. Judge Michael Tynan, who also a presides over Public Counsel's Homeless Court Program is featured in this column.
- College Hospital to pay $1.6 million in homeless dumping settlement L.A. city attorney's office says the hospital left more than 150 mentally ill patients on skid row streets. The hospital denies wrongdoing in what prosecutors say is their biggest dumping case to date.
- Affordable Housing Resources A compilation of local organizations that help people find (or offer their own) affordable housing, as well as a list of online resources for locating affordable, transitional, and public housing in Los Angeles County.
- Ex-Offender Re-entry Resources Referrals for ex-offenders, including job placement assistance organizations, expungement, and online job placement resources.
- Family Law Referrals A list of the community-based and governmental services that assist with family law issues, published by the Legal Aid Foundation of LA's Toll Center.
- Food Stamps (SNAP) Flyer Food Stamp Eligibility Information and How to Apply!
- General Relief and CalFresh (Food Stamps) Benefits Basics Provides basic information about General Relief and CalFresh (Food Stamps) benefits.
- How to Deal with Parking Tickets An informational tool about how to deal with minor parking ticket infractions.
- Low-Cost or Free Dental Resources A comprehensive resource for low-cost or free dental care in Los Angeles County.
- Low-Cost or Free Medical Insurance and Prescription Drug Resources A list of health insurance and prescription drug assistance programs for low-income individuals and families.
- Medical Referrals in Downtown Los Angeles A list of referrals for physical, mental, and dental health services in Downtown Los Angeles.
- Mental Health Resources A limited list of referrals and resources for mental health services in Los Angeles County.
- Resolving a Traffic or Quality of Life Ticket Information about how to deal with minor tickets and warrants.
- Women's Shelters and Resources A list of shelters and other resources for single women, and women with children, in Los Angeles County.
- Toberman Legal Clinic Public Counsel's legal clinic at the Toberman Family Source Center provides general intake concerning a broad array of legal issues including consumer scams, landlord-tenant, government benefits and immigration issues. This clinic serves clients of the Toberman Family Source Center.
- Public Counsel CARES: Connecting Angelenos to Resources and Essential Services Public Counsel CARES, formerly known as the General Relief Advocacy Project (GRAP), is a legal advocacy project that takes place in the LA County Department of Public Social Services (DPSS) welfare offices. Through the project, volunteer attorneys and students assist impoverished, hungry, and homeless clients with emergency shelter, food, health, transportation, and other social service needs.
- Homeless Youth Legal Clinic at My Friend's Place Public Counsel's homeless youth legal clinic at My Friend's Place provides a broad range of free legal services and educational workshops for homeless and runaway youth.
- PATH Legal Clinic Public Counsel's legal clinic at People Assisting the Homeless (PATH) provides comprehensive legal intake and referrals to homeless individuals.
- LA CAN Legal Clinic Public Counsel recruits volunteer attorneys to staff a weekly walk-in legal clinic operated by LA CAN.
- Homeless Court Program Application This document contains eligibility information and an application form for the Homeless Court program.
- CalFresh (formerly known as Food Stamps) You may qualify to receive CalFresh benefits, which can help stretch a tight food budget to keep you and your family well-fed and healthy.
- Surviving the Economic Challenge - Useful Materials for Individuals and Families Have you or someone in your family lost your home or job? Are you or your family struggling to stay in your home and meet your financial obligations due to the economic downturn? This document contains helpful information about legal issues that you may be facing, and referrals to social service agencies that can assist with your specific needs.