Advocacy For Long-term Systemic Solutions
SeniorLAW Center’s staff also pursues advocacy for long-term solutions and responses.
Each member of the legal staff serves on and provides leadership to task forces, coalitions and committees addressing the problems of the elderly, the poor, women, minorities and immigrants, to seek systemic solutions and responses to problems affecting the lives of the elderly and their families. Our staff is actively involved with the Emergency Fund Coalition for Older Philadelphians, Philadelphia Society for Services to Children and its Kinship Institute, Nationalities Service Center, Philadelphia Corporation for Aging Latino and Asian Advisory Committees, Philadelphia Coalition for Victim Advocates, HomeSmart (Start Managing Assets, Repairs, and Title to property) Committee, Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency (Senior Citizen Advisory Committee), Pennsylvania Immigration and Citizenship Coalition and the Pennsylvania, Philadelphia and minority bar associations.
We also work closely with governmental units such as the City Solicitor’s Office, Philadelphia Municipal Court, the Family Court Division of the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, the Police Department and its Victim Assistance Officers, the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office, the District Attorney’s Office, the City’s Department of Licenses and Inspections and the City Solicitor’s Code Enforcement Unit, the Mayor’s Office on Services to the Aging, and other government entities that assist senior citizens. State representatives and Senators, City Council, and many other elected representatives regularly refer constituents to SeniorLAW Center, as do the Department of Aging, AARP, and senior centers across the city and state.
SeniorLAW Center staff work closely with various legal and social service agencies, and health care providers to ensure that the needs of clients are met, including Women Against Abuse, Philadelphia Volunteers for the Indigent Program, Community Legal Services, Consumer Bankruptcy Assistance Program, AIDS Law Project, Nationalities Service Center, Lawyer Referral and Information Service, Grand Central, the Legal Clinic for the Disabled, Supportive Older Women’s Network (SOWN), Philadelphia Corporation for Aging, Center for Advocacy for Rights and Interests of Elderly (CARIE), Pennsylvania Association of Agencies on Aging ,and the Mayor’s Commission on Services to the Aging. These agencies are just some of the over 100 agencies with which SeniorLAW Center coordinates its efforts and from which SeniorLAW Center regularly receives and provides client referrals.
SeniorLAW Center has taken leadership roles on advocacy efforts affecting the rights of seniors, including successfully leading an amicus group of advocates in the Pennsylvania Supreme Court against constitutional challenges to the Grandparent Custody and Visitation Act, testifying before City Council and State Senate and House Committees on needs of seniors, home repair contractor protections for vulnerable populations, and state constitutional amendments, working with other Pennsylvania legal providers on creating a civil right to counsel in areas of critical need for seniors and low-income populations, and working with local, state and national groups of legal advocates to develop funding for protecting the rights of seniors.