To further their efforts to provide legal services to low-income members of the Eastern Shore community, Mid-Shore Pro Bono is pleased to announce that it has recently been authorized by the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) to provide legal services through its Recognition and Accreditation Program. This rigorous program requires significant training and once accredited, legal services organizations, like Mid-Shore Pro Bono, may handle more complex cases that involve federal government agencies. Both Mid-Shore Pro-Bono and their Vulnerable Populations Assistance Project Director, Ivette Salarich, JD, received accreditation from the DOJ.
“The accreditation from the Department of Justice is a huge step forward for our Vulnerable Populations Assistance Project,” said Sandy Brown, Executive Director. “We are now able to provide a higher level of quality legal services to members of our community who often fall victim to fraudulent scams preying on their low-income status, language barriers and unfamiliarity with the civil justice system.”
To further the efforts of the VPAP, Mid-Shore Pro Bono recently received grants from the Maryland Bar Foundation and Mid-Shore Community Foundation. These funds will be used to support the VPAP’s work with immigrants living and working on the Eastern Shore, many of whom have fled natural disasters and political unrest to reunite their families and start a new life as American citizens.
“There is an enormous need to address the inequality of access to adequate legal assistance and representation on the Eastern Shore,” said Brown. “The poverty level on the Shore ranges from 8-18% depending on location, but our work reaches and affects everyone in our community regardless of socioeconomic status. By connecting low income residents with legal services and community resources we are able to keep families together, working, in their homes and financially stable.”