Last year was a big year at the Clinic. We celebrated our 20th anniversary, which gave us a chance to reflect. We remembered families reunited; homes saved from foreclosure; crippling debts forgiven; lives preserved through asylum, and more. We remembered the tens of thousands of clients we served with the help of countless volunteers, donors, and other supporters of the Clinic.
Of course, if you’re like me, anniversaries tend to make you think not only about the past, but also about the future. This was also the case for the Clinic’s Board of Directors, who approved a new strategic plan last year. Rooted in our mission to serve our low-income neighbors as a demonstration of Christ’s love, this plan created a new vision for the Clinic’s future, one supported by a renewed sense of passion and purpose.
We want our clients to experience this renewal with us. Many of those who come to the Clinic are stressed, anxious, and afraid. They are often burdened by the past or unsure what the future will hold. We realized that if we wanted to really help them experience a sense of renewal, we needed to make some changes so that we could serve them more effectively. For instance, we decided to modify our legal intake system. Now, every client who comes to an intake has at least thirty minutes to sit with an attorney, talk, and receive legal advice and information.
We’re also working to improve our internal communication to make sure that no client leaves the Clinic still struggling with a legal issue we could have helped them solve. For instance, if a client comes to us with a tax issue and our attorneys realize the client is also struggling with an impending foreclosure or an immigration issue, we are now working to make sure that they have the chance to get help with these other problems, too.
Ultimately, we want our clients to feel loved. By listening carefully to them, treating them with respect, recognizing their dignity, and praying with them if they want prayer, the Clinic hopes to demonstrate to each of our clients that we want them to flourish.
This Wednesday, we are hosting our annual fundraiser, Justice For All. Perhaps unsurprisingly, our focus will be on renewal. If you’re coming to the event, you will hear Executive Director Chris Purnell talk about how we are striving to renew our commitment to our community. You will also have the chance to watch a video in which several of our clients discuss how the Clinic’s services empowered them to make a fresh start.
Of course, we want this hope and promise of renewal to expand far beyond the Clinic’s walls—far beyond just this event or even this year. As we all work together to help those in need, we hope that our desire for justice will overflow and spill out into every neighborhood, into every intake site, into every partner location, and into every home in our community. And we hope, through all of this, you will continue to stand with us.
Director of Engagement