An Evolution of Faith

The summer of 2014 was an important one for Jennifer Noelle and her husband Justin. Recently, they had become a Host Family for Safe Families for Children, voluntarily taking in children for short periods of time from the Near Eastside neighborhood of Indianapolis. While hosting two young African American men in their home that August, Jennifer and her husband watched the news stories coming out of Ferguson, Missouri about an 18-year-old African American man named Michael Brown who was fatally shot by a police officer. This confluence of events was the beginning of an evolution of their faith perspective for both Jennifer and Justin.

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What Story Are You Telling Yourself?: A Message From Executive Director Chris Purnell

We can live a story that says we are all alone, or a story that says we must keep all of our resources for ourselves, or a story that says to circle the wagons and stick with our tribes because the world is a dangerous place.

But God has given us a better story. The Bible tells us one that is filled with the beauty of God’s presence in the midst of the burdens of human existence. It’s a story that tells us that God has made us in his image and for a purpose. A purpose frustrated by sin and death, yes—but that is why we have him to rescue us from such powers and to restore things to their rightful place.

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Celebrating Deep Roots: A Message from Missions Committee Co-Chair John Thomas at Tabernacle Presbyterian Church

Many people know the story of how Neighborhood Christian Legal Clinic came to be born, how it sprang from the words of a pastor who cast a bold vision from the pulpit of the big stone church at 34th and Central. What might be less known is how the roots of the Clinic reach deeper into time, to the 1960s, when an all-white congregation refused to submit to white flight. Or even further into the past, to the 1920s, when a downtown church saw an emerging neighborhood as an opportunity for outreach. As such, Tabernacle Presbyterian Church’s seemingly out-of-the-blue decision to start a legal clinic decades later was not so out-of-the-blue at all, but rather, wonderfully consistent with its history.

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A Beacon of Grace: A Message from Barnes & Thornburg Partner and Clinic Board President Matthew Barr

It’s a cliché: Lawyers wear suits and ties. They carry briefcases and are serious with serious careers—the epitome of a grownup. Many days, this summary encapsulates precisely what I do. And I find the work fulfilling. But I also crave opportunities that shake up that routine, where I can use my education and stretch my legal muscles in service of the public good.

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Extravagant Grace: A Message From Pastor Dale Shaw At College Park Church

In 2008, College Park Church forged a partnership with Neighborhood Christian Legal Clinic to help improve and strengthen the Brookside neighborhood on the near east side. We have enjoyed the grace they bring to our community through their efforts towards justice. And we support one another in offering love and care to our neighbors in need.

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Empowering Survivors: The Victim Justice Program

Two young women sat in Katy Strader’s office, describing what happened to them the previous weekend when an armed man broke into their home. It was only Katy’s first full week as a Bilingual Paralegal for the Victim Justice Program (VJP) and this new client intake was a jarring introduction to the work. Both girls were shaking and crying as they detailed the robbery, which had left a third friend in critical condition with a gunshot wound.

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Meet Our Summer 2019 Interns!

Kanfing Camara worked with Director of Immigrant Services Rachel Van Tyle in the Immigrant Justice Program (IJP) during her internship. She helped the IJP staff by filling out various immigration applications and completing other administrative work. Of her experience, she says, “I learned a lot about different immigration applications, and which forms handle what sort of issues, from getting a work visa to obtaining a green card. I became more aware of the actual work that immigration lawyers do, and how to be personable to clients.” Her favorite part was hearing the stories of the clients, where they came from, and why they came to the United States. She says, “I really liked seeing how they lit up when they were told that their case would be picked up by the Clinic.” This fall, Kanfing is heading into her last year of undergrad at Purdue University.

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There is Room at the Table: A Message from Staff Attorney Annie Anderson

Though the intricacies of the immigration system are vast, one basic statement remains true: There is nowhere for the average immigrant to get in line and simply receive their papers. That is not an option. For our clients who have suffered abuse and violence, that is still not an option.  

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Immigrant Justice Modest Means Program

Director of Immigrant Services Rachel Van Tyle says, “Modest Means is a legal phrase that means lower cost services. Some may call it ‘low bono’ as opposed to pro bono. It means that there is usually a flat fee for a case.” And while the flat fee depends on the case type, the cost remains affordable.

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For You Yourselves Were Foreigners: A Message from Director of Immigrant Services Rachel Van Tyle

Immigration has become the signature political issue of the last few years. So often, you hear people calling for reforms of the system, but we cannot possibly know where we should go without understanding where we have been.

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Civil Legal Needs: A Message From Executive Director Chris Purnell

In the latest Civil Legal Needs Study commissioned by the Indiana Bar Foundation, there is only 1 attorney available for every 10,000 low-income Hoosiers. There are 20 for all others. Moreover, 96% of the legal issues faced by the poor go unrepresented by an attorney.

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