“The most rewarding aspect of the day was sharing some of the knowledge I’ve received through the Legal Clinics in a way that really was helpful for others,” comments Legal Intern Jennifer Avina of her recent participation in a USD Legal Clinics outreach event. “In addition, I really enjoyed interacting with the socially, economically, and educationally diverse groups that attended.”
As a Small Claims Clinic Legal Intern, Avina participated in the 25th Annual Women’s Resource Fair on March 15, 2014. Accompanied by Outreach Coordinator Patty O’Deane, both women staffed a booth at the event held from 8:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. at the San Diego Civic Center’s Golden Hall. They provided information regarding the free legal services offered by the clinics to the approximately 114 women who stopped by the booth. They were also able to help the several visitors that stopped by who were Spanish-speaking.
“People that stopped by the booth had a wide variety of questions,” describes Avina. “The most common seemed to relate to government benefits and various tenant issues. Most people wanted to know if the clinic could help them with their particular problem and if not, where else they could go to get assistance.”
Avina and O’Deane handed out flyers with information regarding clinic services, and made referrals to the clinics that could best help attendees. Hosted by the San Diego Volunteer Lawyer Program (SVLP), the Women’s Resource Fair brings together social service providers to assist under-served women throughout San Diego County. The Women’s Resource Fair provides free childcare for the day and free transportation to and from the Civic Center, allowing many women to receive and learn about services to which they might not otherwise have access. Services included medical, legal consultations, financial assistance, job application, employment counseling and shelter referrals, among others.
“Volunteering at the Resource Fair emphasized to me, once again, the need for coordination of services among resource providers,” reflects Avina. “A good portion of the people that stopped by our booth had stories of frustration caused by trying to find the proper resource to assist them with their particular need. San Diego has a wealth of willing organizations and individuals but there’s room to improve access to these services. I was happy to be a part of this increased coordination of services.”