by Tiffany Hickey
Bayview Hunters Point Community Legal is hosting our first annual Summer Benefit Concert on Saturday, Aug. 16, 2-5 p.m., at 4100 Third St. Join us for a day of fun, music and community. We will have live performances from local musicians Alvin Jett and The Third Street Project. There will also be great food prepared by a neighborhood chef for sale. Finally, we will have a silent auction with items donated by several local artisans and businesses, including Giants tickets!
Bayview Hunters Point Community Legal opened its doors in January of 2013, at 4622 Third St. Our mission is to solve injustice by providing universal access to direct legal services coupled with community development to boost the neighborhood economy and support local businesses.
The need for legal services in the U.S. is great: There is only about one legal aid lawyer for every 14,000 legal needs experienced by low-income people every year. As a result, only about 20 percent of low-income individuals get help on their legal issues.
However, legal aid is incredibly effective: People are 5-10 times more likely to win their case if they have legal representation. Without this resource, people cannot protect their rights to stay in housing, safeguard their property from seizure, or keep custody of their children.
At Bayview Legal, we ensure that everyone can access legal services for any viable issue, regardless of their income. We focus on the highest need neighborhood of San Francisco, Bayview Hunters Point, only taking clients who live or work in 94124. Our full-scope services include investigation, drafting, settlement and litigation. We are able to do this with very little funding thanks to an amazing network of volunteers and great community support.
So far we’ve already had great success and are seeing the difference we have made in the community. Since opening our doors last year, we’ve opened 368 cases, closed 256 and only lost 3 percent of these. We’ve also cancelled or proven fraudulent over $52,000 in debt for clients and acquired over $73,000 in damages and lost income. On top of that, we have been able to prevent 16 evictions.
Bayview Legal’s mission is to solve injustice by providing universal access to direct legal services coupled with community development to boost the neighborhood economy and support local businesses.
This year we plan to expand our service capacity to take on more cases, strengthen our social services network, and launch our community development plan. We want to be able to offer wraparound services to our clients who are struggling with mental health, substance abuse or other social service needs to better serve the community. Further, we want to help invest in the neighborhood, supporting local businesses and increasing local wealth.
Our past work would not have been possible without the amazing volunteers, community support, hundreds of small private donors and, lastly, fundraising events. We hope you will come out to support our work and enjoy the event.
All proceeds will fund our legal services and more just future for Bayview Hunters Point. The law is a great tool for creating opportunity and preventing injustice. We believe it should be accessible to everyone. Buy your tickets online at http://bhpcl-concert.eventbrite.com/.
Bayview Hunters Point Community Legal Outreach and Development Director Tiffany Hickey can be reached at Tiffany@bhpcommunitylegal.org.