On Saturday, May 11, WMU-Cooley Law School Lansing campus students, faculty, staff, and alumni went to Reutter Park in downtown Lansing, Michigan, to offer legal assistance and other social services to the city’s homeless. The “Street Law Stand Down” clinic was held in collaboration with Lansing-based Cardboard Prophets, a street-based ministry and outreach organization that works with the homeless and families in need.
During the four-hour outreach program, attendees had the opportunity to receive legal guidance with issues such as criminal expungement, Social Security and Social Security Disability Insurance, state identification forms, living wills, landlord and tenant issues, wage disputes, and other miscellaneous legal issues. Information regarding local assistance agencies was made available to those attending the “Street Law Stand Down.”
The May 11 “Street Law Stand Down” marked the second time WMU-Cooley worked with Cardboard Prophets to bring legal services directly to community’s indigent population. During the first event, held in September 2018, under the direction of WMU-Cooley Lansing campus Associate Dean Michael C.H. McDaniel, over 30 individuals received legal guidance.
“Creating an atmosphere where individuals feel comfortable receiving services is the objective of the “Street Law Stand Down,” said McDaniel. “The Lansing community and its various governmental and social agencies have recognized the need for this type of outreach. It is our hope, that by coming together, we can make a difference to those in need.”
Agencies participating in the “Street Law Stand Down” included: AARP Foundation (senior services and senior employment), Blue Cross Blue Shield Complete of Michigan (medical), Lansing Board of Water and Light (customer service assistance and energy savers department), Capital Area District Library (assistance with documents for state ID cards), Child & Family Charities, Community Mental Health (medical), Lansing Safe Families (child care-family assistance), Lovejoy (home care, adult foster care, respite services), Michigan Veterans Affairs (veterans assistance), and the Secretary of State (assistance with state ID forms).
In addition to receiving legal and social services, those attending the event were provided with free meals from the Smoke N' Pig food truck. WMU-Cooley’s Delta Theta Phi fraternity provided carnations to female attendees, in recognition of Mothers Day, and the law school’s Student Bar Association provided bottled water and coffee.