The finding that physicians' practices are able to identify families eligible for free or reduced-fee legal services formed the basis of a Healthy Tomorrows Partnership for Children Program grant proposal, which has supported the establishment of Family Advocates of Central Massachusetts, a medical-legal partnership between the LACCM
and five primary care practices (three pediatric, two family practice) in central Massachusetts, Dr.
About 65 percent of LACCM's funding comes from the Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corp., a nonprofit entity established by the state Legislature in 1983 to make sure low-income people with noncriminal legal problems have access to legal information, advice and representation, according to Jonathan Mannina, LACCM's executive director.
LACCM's $3.5 million in income in fiscal year 2008 was down to $3 million last fiscal year and is expected to drop again to $2.4 million in the agency's fiscal year that begins Oct.
LACCM employed five paralegals and seven administrative/support staff in fiscal year 2008.
LACCM has also implemented a salary freeze, asked employees to take unpaid furlough days, opted to close its main office at 405 Main St.
In calendar year 2008, LACCM, which specializes in housing issues, family law and public benefits, opened 3,500 new cases, according to Mr.
While members of the Worcester County Bar Association have traditionally assisted LACCM by doing pro bono work and serving on its board of directors, this is the first time they have been asked to provide the agency financial support.
LACCM and MFHC divide their efforts between educating landlords and tenants about fair housing laws and investigating complaints.
LACCM also conducts such "paired tests" using trained volunteers, who earn a small stipend.
Housing and Urban Development Department awarded to LACCM in October requires the agency to do at least 50 paired tests in Worcester County this year.
Worcester Fair Housing Project is a joint project between LACCM and the city of Worcester.