Brunswick Regional Office of Georgia Legal Services Program now set to serve Waycross region; decreased funding means local office shuttered
Thursday, August 18, 2011
- Organization: Georgia Legal Services Program, Inc.®
Atlanta- Beginning today, low-income residents who have civil legal problems and live in the Waycross region will be served by the Brunswick Regional Office of Georgia Legal Services Program or “GLSP”.
For over 30 years, legal aid and pro bono - or free legal services- have been provided by a GLSP office in Waycross. The office served eight mostly rural counties surrounding Waycross and helped thousands of local residents with critical legal needs over the years. Its operations and remaining staff have now been transferred to the Brunswick office of GLSP and its local site has been closed.
Cuts in funding from the federal Legal Services Corporation and from other sources have forced GLSP to reduce its presence in the state, but GLSP remains the largest provider of free legal services for low-income households in Georgia, handling almost 10,000 cases per year.
“Our lawyers and paralegals help people fight red tape, assist senior citizens in dealing with issues that affect their homes and health, and provide working families with a voice in preserving income, saving a home or keeping a child in school,” says Phyllis Holmen, the executive director of Georgia Legal Services Program. “We’ll continue that important work as we find ways to tighten our belt and identify resources to support equal access to justice in our communities.”
GLSP’s lawyers handle certain kinds of non-criminal legal cases, including domestic violence, landlord-tenant cases, legal help for the elderly, and public benefits issues, but can't accept all requests for assistance due to very limited financial resources. The program also enlists the assistance of hundreds of lawyers around Georgia to provide free legal assistance to clients.
“Legal aid offices provide the backbone for pro bono services in rural Georgia,” adds Mike Monahan, director of the State Bar of Georgia Pro Bono Project. “It’s disturbing to see a GLSP office closing. We need strong connections among legal aid offices, local private attorneys and the courts to make sure that people who have legal problems can get help to resolve those problems through the court process.”
The Waycross office served Atkinson, Bacon, Brantley, Charlton, Clinch, Coffee, Pierce, and Ware Counties. The Brunswick Regional Office will now serve these eight counties as well as the six counties it has been serving: Appling, Camden, Glynn, Jeff Davis, McIntosh and Wayne.
Current clients will be served from the Brunswick office. Current clients and local residents formerly served by the Waycross office who need free civil legal help and who have incomes near the poverty level should now call (912) 264-7301 or 1-877-808-0553 to inquire about their cases or apply for legal assistance. GLSP lawyers will be present in Ware County and other surrounding areas on a periodic basis to meet clients, provide community legal education seminars and interview potential clients.
The Brunswick Regional Office is located at 1607 Union Street, Brunswick, Georgia 31520. For more information about Georgia Legal Services Program, visit www.GLSP.org.
About Georgia Legal Services Program, Inc.® The mission of the Georgia Legal Services Program is to provide access to justice and opportunities out of poverty for Georgians with low-incomes. Our lawyers and paralegals provide the help that reflects your community's values of fairness, equality, and responsibility to assist others in need.