Who We Serve
The Center for Non-Profit Legal Services, Inc. (CNPLS) brings legal structure and resolution to social problems, which may be spiraling out of control, by providing high-quality civil legal representation to low-income and elder residents of Jackson County.
Five licensed attorneys handle approximately 2,000 completed applications yearly. We prioritize our assistance for seniors over age 60 or low-income Jackson County residents living at or below 125% of the federal poverty index. We focus on those who struggle with domestic violence, homelessness, and hunger.
Clients with priority legal problems whose applications our agency accepts receive direct legal representation. Our clients frequently lack appropriate physical and mental health care; some may have language and cultural barriers.
We concentrate our efforts on protecting their right to access high priority survival needs: food, shelter, medical care, income maintenance, immigration, protective services, and domestic relations cases involving disputes with children and/or child or spousal abuse.
The specific legal needs based on the percentage of our clients requiring legal representation in 2020 were:
- Housing/Consumer Law – Works to prevent homelessness and to maintain safe and affordable housing; to protect consumers from unlawful trade practice and predatory lending practices
- Family Law – Provides peaceable means of resolving conflict, especially domestic violence, in families with minor children
- Income Maintenance – Works to secure stable state and federal assistance and to secure fair and lawful treatment by government agencies
- Individual Rights
- Immigration Law Project assists with citizenship, status adjustment, farmworker rights, protects survivors of domestic violence, and crime with VAWA, T-Visa, and U-Visa self-petitions
- Jackson County Public Guardian Program concentrates on protecting individuals and families with special needs
- Protecting our Veterans provides access to employment helping with drivers license reinstatement and expungements.
For a demographic breakdown of who we serve, please visit our Case Statistics.
- Housing/Consumer –ACCESS classes, RVCOG Second Chance Renters Workshops; Predatory Lending Workshops
- Family Law
- Income Maintenance
- Employment/Individual Rights – Immigration Law Project: Immigration Workshops, Urban Campground Outreach
Since 1997, Jackson County has contracted with CNPLS to manage the County’s office of Public Guardian and Conservator Program, which concentrates on protecting individuals and families with special needs. This is a last resort program with a limited number of clients taken. Applications are accepted on a referral basis only.
The Housing Unit prevents homelessness and eviction by negotiation and representation in the trial and appellate courts.
The Family Law Unit provides a peaceable means of resolving aggravated family conflicts that otherwise can result in spousal and/or child abuse or child snatching. Resolutions provided by CNPLS are often more long-term than those from agencies that provide “emergency services”.
The Income Maintenance Unit provides community advocacy and client representation of denials or terminations of government benefits in the administrative tribunals and appellate courts. This is paramount in reducing income distress and securing stable state and/or federal assistance or services, i.e., Food Stamps and medical services for individuals and families.
Individual Rights Unit includes Immigration Law, Protecting Our Veterans, and the Office of the Public Guardian.
The Immigration Law Project helps immigrants and farmworkers with work authorization deal with residency, citizenship, and other related legal issues while allowing families to be safe, remain together and work legally in this country.
Protecting Our Veterans helps remove barriers to employment, housing, and transportation by expunging decades-old crimes, allowing veterans to obtain drivers’ licenses, housing, and jobs. Providing them the dignity and honor they deserve for their service.
Jackson County Public Guardian Since 1997, Jackson County has contracted with CNPLS to manage the County’s Office of Public Guardian and Conservator Program, which concentrates on protecting individuals with special needs. The Public Guardian is a program of last resort, taking only a limited number of clients. Applications are accepted on a referral basis only.