2016 Accomplishments

With your support, we are changing lives and strengthening Western North Carolina.

  • Pisgah Legal Services helped more than 15,000 low-income people to meet basic needs in 2016.
  • PLS helped more than 5,600 children avoid homelessness, escape abuse, and secure essentials.
  • PLS helped more than 5,700 people escape domestic violence and nearly 3,000 to stabilize housing and prevent homelessness.


PLS secured more than $19 million in quantifiable benefits for clients, including:

With an operating budget of $3.7 million, Pisgah Legal Services produced a return on investment of more than 5 to 1.

  • $2,845,988 in disability income benefits for people with disabilities
  • $5,133,951 estimated in Medicaid benefits, payable to WNC medical providers
  • $3,773,581 in monetary benefits for clients, such as: home equity preserved from foreclosure, child support payments for victims of domestic violence, or unemployment compensation.
  • $7,511,244 estimated in health insurance premium tax credits for households served directly.

Private attorneys and office volunteers donated more than 10,000 hours helping PLS clients, providing pro bono services and supporting PLS staff.

More than 250 volunteer attorneys donated 2,624 professional hours to help PLS clients. These pro bono hours are modestly valued at $656,200.

Office volunteers contributed more than 6,624 hours of service to interview potential clients, assist with legal research, and complete clerical and administrative tasks.

ACA Navigator volunteers donated more than 1,300 volunteer hours.

Pisgah Legal Services succeeds in efforts to alleviate poverty.

Increasing Protection for Abuse Victims: PLS added staff capacity to serve victims of domestic violence and abuse, including children. PLS partnered with Buncombe County and local organizations to serve abuse victims holistically at the Family Justice Center that opened in July, 2016. PLS currently staffs an attorney and legal assistant at the center, and continues to be active in the Henderson County Family Justice Center.

Improving Child Care Subsidies for WNC Families: PLS is a member of an early childhood coalition advocating to promote access to quality, affordable early child care and child education opportunities in WNC. With community partners, significant progress has been made to evaluate alternative market rate methodologies and understand how best to ensure access to quality, affordable early child care settings through the Child Care Subsidy Program.

Promoting Affordable Housing & Jobs Creation: PLS was awarded a substantial three-year grant to advocate for and assist with affordable housing development and jobs creation strategies. After years of advocacy by PLS, Buncombe County created a zoning density bonus to incentivize the construction of affordable housing units.