Coast to Coast Legal Aid of South Florida’s Senior Citizen Continuum of Care Project honored with collaboration award

Coast to Coast Legal Aid of South Florida’s Senior Citizen Continuum of Care Project honored with collaboration award

CCLA lead attorney Jeffrey Hittleman, from the left, CCLA Executive Director Lisa Goldberg, CCLA Director of Senior Unit Sarah Barker, CCLA Director of Operations Katianna Mazard, CCLA Board Chair Alejandro Larrazabal, GJFS Case Managers Frieda Caldes & Anna Maria Borreca, GJFS Chief Operating Officer Sandra Ala, and GJFS President & CEO Randy Colman.

Coast to Coast Legal Aid of South Florida, Inc., (CCLA) recently won the 2024 Non-Profit of the Year Award for Collaboration, celebrating the achievements of their Senior Citizen Continuum of Care Project.

211 Broward presented CCLA with the Non-Profit Award, sponsored by Truist, during the 13th Annual Community Care Plan Non-Profit Awards March 5, hosted by Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Broward County.

Launched in 2018, the Senior Citizen Continuum of Care Project is a collaboration between CCLA and Goodman Jewish Family Services (GJFS). CCLA and GJFS forged a partnership between lawyers and social workers to provide wraparound services for seniors. The project’s mission is to provide a continuum of care for low-income, vulnerable seniors to prevent homelessness and ensure they age in place. Seniors at risk of losing their housing are assigned an attorney from CCLA and a case manager from GJFS. Then, CCLA and GJFS collaborate to provide these seniors with legal representation, case management, financial assistance, and social services.

“This Project was born out of the realization that seniors on the brink of homelessness often face a maze of economic, social, health, and legal challenges,” said Jeffrey Hittleman, lead housing attorney at CCLA. “Addressing solely the legal issues without tackling the underlying causes often falls short of providing lasting solutions for our seniors.”

“This partnership is making a real difference and changing seniors’ lives for the better,” said Lisa Goldberg, CCLA’s executive director. “It shows that taking a holistic approach to solving legal issues can have a significant, meaningful impact to prevent homelessness. We’re grateful for this partnership and look forward to continuing our work together, helping seniors in our community, for many years to come.”

CCLA says the project would not be possible without the “generous and unwavering support” of The Jim Moran Foundation.

“Appreciation is owed to The Jim Moran Foundation for its commitment, dedication, and invaluable support for CCLA’s vision to address homelessness in a more comprehensive manner,” said Katianna Mazard, CCLA’s director of operations. “This allowed CCLA’s project to make a meaningful impact within our community, during a time when many people, especially seniors, are struggling to pay their housing expenses and keep a roof over their heads,”

Over the last five years, CCLA prevented over 550 seniors from becoming homeless. CCLA successfully halted their evictions, foreclosures, and other threats to their housing. These seniors include many veterans and vulnerable seniors with disabilities. Approximately 95% of the seniors the project assisted have maintained safety and stability in their homes for more than six months after receiving CCLA’s and GJFS’ support, according to CCLA.

As one client said to Jeffrey Hittleman, “I thought about you and how you helped me navigate through my crisis, I can share with you that things are good with me I am back on track and able to pay my rent on time with no issues. It was because of you going that extra yard to assist me, I am so grateful to you for your kindness because you didn’t have to do all that you did. I just wanted you to know that it was not unnoticed. I pray you are doing well and please continue to make a difference in people’s lives, you made a difference for me and I am forever grateful.”

Originally published at https://www.floridabar.org/the-florida-bar-news/coast-to-coast-legal-aid-of-south-floridas-senior-citizen-continuum-of-care-project-honored-with-collaboration-award/

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