This man got a new life after a BBVLP staff attorney met him at Workshop.
Courtroom Busts Into Applause for BBVLP Homeless Client
Kristin Sullivan, Massey, Stotser and Nichols, recently helped a 40-year-old client get out of homelessness when she represented him at Turning Point, a special docket for homeless clients, and
Judge Andra Sparks dismissed his charges so the client could have a clean record and a new life.
The client lived up to his side of the agreement previously outlined by Judge Sparks, the presiding judge of Birmingham Municipal Court, to complete his program at Brother Bryan Mission, stay sober for a year, obtain his GED, and maintain a full-time job.
The client, who had 20-year-old fines on his record, welled up as the courtroom burst into applause at the judge's ruling. He told Kristin that "no one has ever clapped for me before."
Kristin said this is exactly the reason she is a frequent BBVLP volunteer. "We're all very blessed to have the opportunity to be in the legal profession, and I firmly believe that is a waste of that opportunity if it's not used to help those who need our services, whether it can benefit us monetarily or not."
This is just one success story involving homeless clients since the BBVLP made these clients a priority in 2016.
In another case, the BBVLP received an email one recent Friday about a homeless man who was offered a job but couldn't start work because old fines from 10-year-old traffic tickets prohibited him from obtaining a driver's license, which he needed in his new job.
BBVLP staff attorney
, a nonprofit that helps people with disabilities find jobs where the man was a client, and obtained the details about his hundreds of dollars in fines from the old tickets. Heather then arranged for the man to be on Judge Spark's Turning Point Docket.
After hearing the client's story, Judge Sparks worked with him to resolve his situation so he could get a driver's license and begin work - which is the first step to becoming a productive citizen.
Susan Crow, executive director of Workshops, thanked the BBVLP and Judge Sparks for preserving the man's dignity while solving his problem. "Y'all are working some magic with Judge Sparks," she said.
Beginning November 1, the BBVLP is expanding its Homeless Help Desk by holding it on the first Wednesday of every month from 8:30 a.m. to noon at the offices of One Roof in Cooper Green. One Roof is the center of coordination for homeless programs in Central Alabama.
To volunteer to help the homeless with their legal issues, please email staff attorney