The ABA Commission on Homelessness and Poverty recently met in Charleston to discuss issues surrounding homelessness and veterans. The following is a brief description about the meeting written by one of the panelists, Jeff Yungman of Charleston.
Stepping Up Justice for Veterans as They Stand Down: Innovative Approaches Courts and Lawyers are Advancing to Help Veterans
The ABA Commission on Homelessness and Poverty presented a program at the Charleston School of Law. Paul Freese moderated the program that included presentations by Paul, Jeff Yungman, Antonia Fasanelli, Sara Sommarstrom, and Steve Binder. As the title indicates, the program focused on legal issues confronting veterans.
Jeff opened the program by explaining why veterans legal issues was the topic chosen to present and current initiatives in Charleston to develop a Veterans Treatment Court and a Veterans Child Support Clinic. Antonia described pro bono opportunities for working with veterans and the ABA’s role in expanding legal services for veterans. Sara provided information about the veterans’ child support clinic in Minnesota that uses law students and pro bono attorneys to provide legal services. Steve then spoke about the homeless courts, their purpose, and how they operate. Paul ended the program by describing veterans’ treatment courts, the reasons behind the establishment of such courts, and how they function.
The program was attended primarily by law students, but attorneys from SC Legal Services, the Solicitor’s office, and the Charleston bar also attended as well as at least one Charleston Municipal Court judge. The reaction to the program at the time, and in subsequent comments since then, have been very positive.