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Toby Gardner

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Prairie State Legal Services, Inc.
November 22, 2010

I am an advocate through a private social work agency, FamilyCore, for single parents in Peoria, Tazewell and Woodford counties. Often my clients are in need of legal representation due to divorce and custody issues, appeals for Social Security Disability or pending evictions. Most of those who utilize the single parent program are low income and cannot afford an attorney. Many have mental health issues and few have a stable support system. Prairie State Legal Services has provided expert legal aid to so many needy families who would not have received justice without their representation. I have been in court and watched as PSLS attorneys fought for the rights of parents seeking to keep their children safe from abusive paramours. I have seen the disabled gain Social Security benefits because the attorney fought for their rights under the law. Parents who would have been homeless were allowed to remain in their apartments because an attorney from Prairie State knew the statues and presented a powerful argument to the judge. These individuals could not have navigated the legal system without the advocacy of an attorney from PSLS. Our community is in their debt, for they provide justice to the needy and without justice for the needy, what kind of society would we become?

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

weekly advocacy for single parents in the Tri-County area.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

provide increased funding so they could represent more clients.

MY ROLE:
Client Served & I referred clients to Prairie State for representation.