Legal Help for LGBTQ+ Individuals
Authored By: Community Legal Services of Philadelphia
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Community Legal Services (CLS) provides free legal assistance in civil matters for low-income residents of Philadelphia. We are strong advocates for our clients, including LGBTQ+ individuals, when they face the threat of losing their homes, incomes, health care, and even their families. We work on many legal issues including eviction, mortgage foreclosure, criminal record expungements, Medicaid, Food Stamps, and other public benefits, SSI, employment, utilities, and housing problems for people who have experienced domestic violence or sexual assault.
We also tackle problems that have a particular impact on LGBTQ+ individuals.
This work includes:
- Fighting workplace discrimination when people face hostility due to their sexual orientation or gender identities.
- Supporting and providing holistic legal services to vulnerable LGBTQ+ youth who are facing homelessness. Assisting them with public benefits, criminal record expungement, and more.
- Helping people get a second chance. Members of the LGTBQ+ community are more likely to be criminalized, experience homelessness, experience sex trafficking, and other harms. In many of our practice areas, including our Employment Unit and our Youth Justice Project, CLS provides legal help so our clients can move forward.
- Assisting trans* persons who have had their names/gender legally changed, but their criminal records come up under their assigned name/gender. These criminal records cause stigma for clients trying to obtain employment, housing, or educational opportunities. They also inadvertently out trans* persons, which can cause additional discrimination.
- Handling cases where LGBTQ+ couples, particularly those who are not married, run into problems with long term care facilities when their relationships aren’t recognized. Many of our older adult LGBTQ+ clients have been with their partners for years but aren’t married, and some may not even be completely out. We are able to navigate these systems so our clients can get the health care they need and have their rights protected.
- Providing confidential legal advice to LGBTQ+ individuals on a variety of public benefits and medical assistance issues, including the impact of same sex relationships on eligibility for public benefits.
Get Legal Help!
To learn more about the legal issues that we work on, and to see if we can help you with your legal problem, visit us online at
www.clsphila.org/get-help or call one of our office numbers below.
1424 Chestnut St. | Philadelphia, PA 19102-2505 | Telephone: 215-981-3700 clsphila.org
North Philadelphia Law Center:
1410 West Erie Ave. | Philadelphia, PA 19140-4136 | Telephone: 215-227-2400