Advocacy to Solve Community Problems
Pisgah Legal Services not only provides direct legal services to individuals and families, our staff also advocates for policy change, collaborates to solve community problems, and defends the interests of groups of low-income people in State courts. This “big picture” work has improved the lives of thousands of people across our region and the State. Following are some highlights of our efforts.
Pisgah Legal Services leads local efforts to solve housing problems and prevent homelessness for low-income people in WNC. Together with local partners, our advocacy resulted in a 75% reduction in the number of chronically homeless individuals in Buncombe County between 2005-2010.
Keeping Elderly and Disabled Individuals in Their Homes and Out of Institutions
Pisgah Legal helped secure a State court decision to preserve personal care services, such as help with bathing, dressing and eating, for more than 2,400 North Carolinians with severe disabilities. These services allow seniors and other individuals with disabilities to remain in their homes and out of more costly institutional care.
Securing Child Care Resources for Families
With community partners, PLS successfully advocated in 2012 for state policy to more equitably distribute child care subsidies across N.C. and to reduce the impact of drastic cuts in mountain counties. This action saved an estimated $600,000 in child care funding for counties in our primary service area, ensuring safe, affordable child care for hundreds of working poor families. PLS and its partners continue to advocate in 2013 at the state level to improve the system for allocating child care subsidies across N.C. and ensure that our limited dollars will be more efficiently utilized.
Helping Victims Secure Court Protection From Abuse
Pisgah Legal Services worked with local justice officials to make court protection more accessible to victims of domestic violence. PLS attorneys were instrumental in the establishment of a designated day for domestic violence protective order cases in District Courts in Buncombe and Henderson Counties. PLS attorneys also advocated for a policy change to allow victims of abuse to secure protective orders outside of regular business hours, so they would be protected if abuse occurred in the evenings or on weekends.