Winter 2023 Newsletter
As 2023 comes to an end, it Is a good time to come together and reflect on what we’ve been working on this past year. GBLS’ advocacy covers a wide variety of issues, from working to keep the shelter system available to all, to ensuring incarcerated individuals in Massachusetts can make free phone calls home. This year, GBLS' advocates succeeded in securing basic necessities for almost 11,000 families and individuals in the Boston area, while at the same time tackling legislative and administrative challenges that affect people's lives across the Commonwealth.
We recently received some exciting news: GBLS is honored to be a recipient of a very generous grant from MacKenzie Scott. We truly appreciate this gift that will help GBLS assist our low-income neighbors with a range of crucial problems - including housing, employment, family law, health and welfare benefits, immigration and consumer law, among others – that significantly impact the quality of their lives.
Through representing individual clients, through community lawyering, and through legislative and administrative advocacy work, GBLS strives to help as many individuals and families in the greater Boston area as we can – but the cost of housing, increased inflation and higher consumer prices have also increased the demand for our services. This gift will help us assist more of our neighbors in need.
GBLS has been serving the greater Boston area for almost 125 years. We are proud of Ms. Scott’s confidence in our ability to continue to improve the lives of people in our community as we work to ensure justice, stability and fairness for all.
Thank you so much for supporting GBLS in our mission to provide no-cost legal assistance to our neighbors in the Boston area. Please consider making a gift this holiday season and continuing to support our cause.
Again, thank you to all our partners in justice, and I wish you all a wonderful holiday season and a happy new year!
Helping GBLS' Neighbor Stay in His Home
“Ramone” is an elderly man living in public housing. Due to his dementia and exploitation by family members, who had been taking his rent money and using it for themselves, Ramone was unable to pay rent starting in 2018. In late 2020, after the eviction moratorium was lifted, Boston Housing Authority (BHA) began proceedings to evict Ramone. After being referred from Homestart, GBLS helped reconnect the client with caring family members, arranged for rental assistance, and saved the tenancy going forward. GBLS’ housing advocates were able to build trust with Ramone and locate helpful family members who will act as representative payees to pay Ramone's rent on time and arrange for his care. By representing Ramone in housing court, GBLS saved Ramone's affordable tenancy and helped him remain in his home.
2023 WBA Lelia J. Robinson Award
Congratulations to Taramattie Doucette, Senior Attorney in our Elder, Health and Disability Unit for winning the Lelia J. Robinson Award! This award highlights women in legal work who have shown commitment to their communities. Taramattie is the project director for GBLS’ Children’s Disability Project, advocating for policy change to help disabled children and their families. Their current focus is widening the use for children’s SSI disability benefits to allow families to purchase food, clothing, and other essentials with those funds. Thank you to Taramattie for all the important work she does!
Celebrating the Second Annual Jack Ward Forum
On December 6th, GBLS hosted the second annual Jack Ward Forum at Choate Hall & Stewart. Thank you to our speaker Rahsaan D. Hall, the president of the Urban League of Massachusetts, who gave an incredible speech. Hall shared memories of meeting Jack during his time on the MLAC board, and the powerful impression Jack left on him. He connected these memories of Jack to the greater goals of social justice work, calling on everyone to “rebuild the house of justice in the hearts and minds of the people.” Click here to watch the full program.
GBLS in the News
Greater Boston Legal Services provides free legal assistance in civil (noncriminal) matters to low-income families and individuals in the Greater Boston area, helping people access the basic necessities of life, including shelter, healthcare, and safety from abuse.
Please consider making a gift to GBLS to help make "justice for all" a reality for our most vulnerable neighbors. Thank you for supporting civil legal aid!