Your Support Matters
Each year Philadelphia VIP provides pro bono legal service to hundreds of clients in one of our four priority areas: Maintaining Family Income • Preventing Homelessness • Supporting Family Stability • Promoting Community Economic Development. Thanks to your investment, we are pleased to share the stories below that demonstrate our success.
When her mother died, Robin inherited the family home where she grew up. She lives there with her two daughters and their four children. Robin lost her job shortly after her mother’s death and fell behind on the mortgage payments. After going to mortgage foreclosure court, Robin found Philadelphia VIP and was paired with volunteer attorney Christina Donato Saler of Chimicles & Tikellis LLP. Christina walked Robin through each step of the foreclosure process. Ultimately, Christina was able to negotiate manageable payments and save Robin’s home. Today, Robin enjoys her home with her family in their close-knit neighborhood.
Years ago, Mariame started a small cleaning business to support herself. One tax season, an unscrupulous tax preparer took advantage of her trust and overstated her withholdings. Her tax problems grew until she could no longer keep up with IRS payments.
That’s when she came to Philadelphia VIP. She was matched with Benjamin Bolas of Dilworth Paxson LLP. Together, Mariame and Benjamin put together all of the paperwork they needed for the IRS. Benjamin negotiated the penalty down from over $12,000 to just $800, which Mariame immediately paid. Today, Mariame can move forward with her life as a full-time student and mother of three children without the burden of a tax debt. She is set to begin her bachelor’s degree in nursing on a scholarship this year.
When Grace’s daughter passed away, she took in her pregnant granddaughter, Joy. The pregnancy was unplanned, and Joy lacked resources to take care of her health while she was carrying Michael. Grace helped support her during her pregnancy and also helped care for Michael from the moment he was born. Later that year, Joy dropped Michael off at day care and vanished. Without hesitation, Grace became the sole caregiver for Michael. Grace then took action to become Michael’s legal guardian. Needing an adoption and the termination of parental rights, Grace came to VIP for help. She was matched with Andrea Paul of the Law Firm of Harper & Paul. Together, Andrea and Grace were able to ensure Michael would stay in Grace’s stable and loving home. Michael is happily living with Grace and is excelling in school.
Beats Brewerytown Beats is a colorful, welcoming record store on Girard Avenue. Owner Max Ochester collected records in his basement for years before deciding to share his passion for music with his neighborhood. Max came to Philadelphia VIP for help establishing his business as a legal entity. He was matched with Robert Powers, an associate at Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP. With the help of Robert and supervising attorney Jeffrey Bodle, Max incorporated his business so that it can grow and be an active part of the Brewerytown neighborhood.