GLSP Recognizes Elder Abuse Awareness Month

June is elder abuse awareness month. Our attorneys were featured in the media to speak out about the prevalence of elder abuse, and ways Georgia Legal Services Program can help seniors.

Robert Bush, a supervising attorney in Savannah, was on the statewide Georgia Public Broadcasting’s morning radio show, On Second Thought. Listen to the segment on the GPB website here.

Tomieka Daniel, managing attorney in Macon, wrote the below op-ed published in Elijay’s Times-Courier:

An estimated 5 million, or 1 in 10, older Americans are abused or neglected each year, according to the U.S. Administration on Aging. June is Elder Abuse Awareness Month.

 “I regularly see elderly clients that are taken advantage of by their loved ones or others around them—their homes taken, finances threatened, emotional well-being shattered. People don’t realize how at risk elderly people really are,” says Tomieka R. Daniel, Managing Attorney in the Georgia Legal Services office in Macon.

Elders who are abused are twice as likely to be hospitalized, four times as likely to go into nursing homes and three times as likely to die, according to World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. “While most abusers are family members, trusted professionals and complete strangers may also target older adults,” a World Elder Abuse Awareness Day press statement states.

At Georgia Legal Services our attorneys help seniors protect themselves against such abuse, whether it be physical, emotional, financial, or otherwise. We’ve assisted with temporary protective orders to create safe environments for elderly clients in abusive situations. We’ve helped with evictions from apartments and nursing homes.  And we’ve saved clients hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical debts by enrolling them in the healthcare insurance programs.

In honor of Elder Abuse Awareness Month, we at Georgia Legal Services want to make it known that we’re here to help. For more information, call 1-800-498-9469 or apply online at www.glsp.org. . To report abuse, neglect, or exploitation of an older adult, please call 1-866-55AGING (1-866-552-4464) – Press “3”. For help with benefits, including Medicaid or food stamps, call our Benefits Hotline at 1-888-632-6332.

 

 

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Bringing To Light a Costly Error for Seniors and Persons with Disabilities

This year, like last year, we put together a public service announcement about a recurring DFCS computer glitch that kicks seniors and disabled Georgians off of Medicare Savings Programs. DFCS computers can’t update their systems with the annual cost-of-living adjustments until April.  This means that people who get help paying their Medicare premiums receive notices that their assistance will be cut off because their incomes are suddenly too high. DFCS reports that they manually update their files, but this leaves our clients frightened by the erroneous notices and at risk of believing they are no longer eligible and losing the benefit altogether.

Last year our public service announcement turned into an Augusta Chronicle article. We had at least 30 seniors call in one day for help.  In addition, some seniors who were unaware of the benefit at all find out about these programs from the public service announcement and enroll for the first time with our help.

This year the announcement was posted in papers across the state and mentioned on Georgia Public Broadcasting, which has coverage statewide. A 95-year-old woman read our notice in the Greensboro Herald Journal in a small town of 3,500. Prior to reading our article, she did not know she was eligible for the Medicare Savings Program-but after calling our Benefits Hotline, we helped her enroll in that benefit, which will save her over $5600 per year, as well as food stamp assistance.

Fran Montelaro is the Benefits Hotline paralegal who helped this client, who Fran remembers being “extremely humbled and excited” upon finding out about this program. “For me, it means speaking to someone as if she would be me at 95 years old and being treated with kindness and empathy.” Fran was recently referred to at a national aging conference in DC as the “client whisperer” because of her extraordinary abilities to relate to and solve her clients’ problems.

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Georgia Legal Services Attorney Recognized For Outstanding Work

Wendy Glasbrenner Honored With Family Law Section’s Joseph P. Tuggle Award

Georgia Legal Services Attorney Wendy Glasbrenner was honored before 650 attorneys on May 19, 2016, with the Family Law Institute’s Joseph P. Tuggle award, recognizing her outstanding skills and contribution to family law. Ms. Glasbrenner has been managing attorney in Georgia Legal Services’ Gainesville office since 1999.

An attorney with Georgia Legal Services for over 35 years, Ms. Glasbrenner has been a leading advocate for low-income individuals in the Gainesville region. She regularly speaks out on issues that affect marginalized communities: fighting for the availability of affordable housing, access to critical financial support such as food stamps and health care, and access to justice for non-native English speakers.

Ms. Glasbrenner has long made it a priority to help people in abusive relationships and their families find safety and security. She founded Rape Response, Inc., in 1987 and served as a board member of the organization for over twenty years thereafter; was on the Board of Directors for Circle of Hope and Gateway House, two shelters for battered women; chaired the Women’s Giving Circle of North Georgia; and currently serves on the Hall County Commission on Children and Families.

Wendy Glasbrenner’s dedication and commitment to upholding rights for all people—regardless of gender, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, or any other characteristic—is clear. Her decision to invest the skills, time, energy, and passion she has at Georgia Legal Services has been a gift to the non-profit law firm and its clients. The staff at Georgia Legal Services Program are honored to call her a colleague, and stand proud alongside her as she receives this well-deserved award.

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GLSP Attorney Jana Edmondson-Cooper Awarded by Gov. Deal

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Jana J. Edmondson-Cooper, an attorney at Georgia Legal Services Program, was selected to receive the Georgia Commission on Equal Opportunity’s 2016 Freedom Award, presented to her by Governor Deal on April 19, 2016. The Commission cited her work on access to justice issues for individuals that are deaf or hard of hearing, or have limited English proficiency. The award letter addressed to Edmondson-Cooper states that she “not only challenged the governmental and justice systems when language access programs were underfunded or non-existent, [she] also shed light on how language access is interdisciplinary and affects many core areas of the law”.

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Georgia Legal Services Attorney Edmondson-Cooper To Be Awarded By Gov. Deal

Jana J. Edmonson Cooper. Photo by John Disney/Daily Report.

Jana J. Edmondson-Cooper. Photo by John Disney/Daily Report.

Jana J. Edmondson-Cooper, an attorney at Georgia Legal Services Program, has been selected to receive the Georgia Commission on Equal Opportunity’s 2016 Freedom Award which will be presented to her by Governor Deal on April 19, 2016. The Commission cited her work on access to justice issues for individuals that are deaf or hard of hearing, or have limited English proficiency. The award letter addressed to Edmondson-Cooper states that she “not only challenged the governmental and justice systems when language access programs were underfunded or non-existent, [she] also shed light on how language access is interdisciplinary and affects many core areas of the law”.

The Georgia Commission on Equal Opportunity agency was created in 1978. The mission of the agency is to investigate charges of discrimination filed by an aggrieved party or a representative of an aggrieved party. It is also the goal and aim of the agency to further the public interest in preventing future discrimination by monitoring any respondent who has been found guilty of committing a discriminatory housing practice.

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School Dropout Prevention Workshop Success

Southern Region School Dropout Prevention Picture_Georgia Legal Services Managing Attorney Ira Foster organized a school dropout prevention workshop, held on Mar. 3, 2016, with speakers from The Truancy Intervention Project, Georgia Appleseed, and the Southern Center for Human Rights. Presentations included discussion around the school-to-prison pipeline, truancy and absentee issues, school discipline statistics and positive behavior intervention and support. Foster focused his presentation on what parents and guardians can do if their children are involved in disciplinary matters at school, and how best to keep kids in school. Nearly 50 school-age children attended the event along with attendees from the State Bar of Georgia and the Atlanta Bar Association.

The event was sponsored in partnership by Georgia Leg al Services Program, Georgia Appleseed Center For Law and Justice, The Southern Center for Human Rights, The Truancy Intervention Project, The Georgia NAACP and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., The Southern Region.

 

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GLSP Attorney Jana Edmondson-Cooper Given State Bar YLD’s Signature Service Award

Jana Edmondson-Cooper, GLSP attorney of nearly six years, was awarded the State Bar Young Lawyers Division’s Signature Service Award on Saturday, Jan. 23 in Atlanta at the organization’s 10th annual Signature Fundraiser. The Young Lawyers Division (YLD) notes that the award is “presented annually to recognize an individual who has achieved a certain level of service, as measured by his or her commitment to the YLD and other service-related organizations”.

In a Jan.15 statement, they write:

Jana Edmondson-Cooper was an obvious choice for the YLD Signature Service Award,” YLD President John R.B. “Jack” Long of Augusta said.  “Through her job at GLSP, she shows her daily commitment to helping Georgia’s indigent who are in need of legal services.  Furthermore, her volunteer efforts for the YLD reflect her true passion to fulfill the primary mission of the State Bar of Georgia: service to the public.  I am proud to have her serve on the YLD Board of Directors, and appreciate her steadfast dedication to the YLD.

Read more about the event here.

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GLSP Attorney Jana Edmondson-Cooper Named to Top 100 Black Lawyers

Jana J. Edmondson-Cooper. Photo by John Disney/Daily Report.

Jana J. Edmondson-Cooper. Photo by John Disney/Daily Report.

The National Black Lawyers: Top 100 announced that Jana Edmondson-Cooper of Georgia Legal Services Program was selected for inclusion into its Top 100 Black Lawyers, an honor given to only a select group of lawyers for her superior skills and qualifications in the field. Membership in this exclusive organization is by invitation only, and is limited to the top 100 attorneys in each state or region who have demonstrated excellence and have achieved outstanding results in their careers.

Jana J. Edmondson-Cooper provides bilingual legal counsel and representation to low-income individuals, the majority of whom are limited English proficient, in administrative forums and courts of law. Her areas of practice include family law, health law, housing, public benefits, wills & estates and education law with a focus on language access as an access to justice issue.

Read more here.

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GLSP Provides Legal Services to Albany’s Homeless

Anthony Davenport, Albany Dougherty Homeless Coalition's 4th Annual Project Homeless Connect, Nov 2015

GLSP Attorney Anthony Davenport represented Georgia Legal Services at the 4th Annual “Project Homeless Connect” event on Nov. 17, 2015, where the individuals in the area experiencing homelessness and the working poor population are connected to community agencies offering much needed services. At this year’s event, more than 500 individuals received health screenings, legal services, haircuts, clothing, food, and much more. The event was hosted by the Albany Dougherty Homeless Coalition. GLSP in Albany is proud to participate in this event each year.

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215 Georgians Served on Ask A Lawyer Day

More than 215 individuals with low-incomes received free legal help last Thursday, Oct. 29, 2015. Attorneys from Georgia Legal Services Program and the Georgia State Bar’s General Practice and Trial section teamed up to provide free legal services in 21 counties around the state, from Richmond to Tattnall, Dougherty to Whitfield.

Volunteer private attorneys and Georgia Legal Services Program attorneys worked together to provide legal help in areas related to family, probate, criminal, consumer, real estate, and housing law issues, among others. Below is a photo essay of the successful event.

Macon. Volunteer Attorney David Bury prepares for his next client.

Macon. Volunteer Attorney David Bury prepares for his next client.

 

Columbus. Attorney Ray Tillery and GLSP Attorney Chandra Wilson.

Columbus. Attorney Ray Tillery and GLSP Attorney Chandra Wilson.

Macon. Attorney Kevin Hicks and GLSP Pro Bono Coordinator Rachael Schell.

Macon. Attorney Kevin Hicks and GLSP Pro Bono Coordinator Rachael Schell.

Columbus. Attorney Ray Tillery and Rhudine Nelson, GLSP Pro Bono coordinator

Columbus. Attorney Ray Tillery and Rhudine Nelson, GLSP Pro Bono coordinator

Columbus. Attorney Paul Kauffmann and client.

Columbus. Attorney Paul Kauffmann and client.

Brunswick. Melissa Cruthirds, Casey Harris, and J. Wrix Mcilvaine.

Brunswick. Melissa Cruthirds, Casey Harris, and J. Wrix Mcilvaine.

Macon. Pro Bono Coordinator Rachael Schell is interviewed by a local television news station about Ask A Lawyer Day.

Macon. Pro Bono Coordinator Rachael Schell is interviewed by a local television news station about Ask A Lawyer Day.

Macon. Attorney David Bury (left) and client.

Macon. Attorney David Bury (left) and client.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Albany. Volunteer attorney Marshall Portivent and his client.

Albany. Volunteer attorney Marshall Portivent and his client.

Augusta. Volunteer Attorney Chade Franklin.

Augusta. GLSP Attorney Chastity Franklin.

Macon. Attorney Sharon Reeves (right) and client.

Macon. Attorney Sharon Reeves (right) and client.

 

Macon. Attorney David Bury, Attorney James Freeman, Judge Phillip Brown, Attorney Larry Brox, and Attorney Veronica Brinson.

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