Education, training, and technical assistance on laws and agency policies that affect low-income people.
Issue Alerts and Pamphlets - CCJ’s "Issue Alerts" outline changes in law and policy, advocacy opportunities, possible legal challenges, tactical suggestions, and generally help agency staff and clients better understand the laws and policies that affect them. They are posted on the world wide web at http://www.mplp.org and many are referenced in this website. Many useful pamphlets by CCJ and other legal organizations are posted on this website and on the community legal education page at http://www.michiganlegalaid.org. You may get new "Issue Alerts" sent directly to your email by filling out a request at email@example.com.
Food Stamp Information - As part of our anti-hunger project, CCJ offers a toll-free helpline where callers from anywhere in Michigan can get advice on whether they may be eligible for food stamps. We also help calculate an estimate of their benefits. CCJ worked with the Michigan Poverty Law Program to create an internet site with helpful information about the Food Stamp Program and a "calculator" that can help determine eligibility and estimated benefits. Please go to http://www.foodstamphelp.org for more information. The helpline number is 1-800-481-4989. Spanish-speaking advisors are available. We can also arrange for interpreters for other languages.
Training - CCJ may be able to design and present trainings to staff, board members, volunteers and/or clients about the rules and requirements of various state and federal programs that benefit low-income people. We can also discuss current policy issues related to low-income people and advocacy strategies and opportunities. Contact us at (989) 755-3120 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Telephone Assistance - Agency staff can contact CCJ by phone or email to ask questions about recurring or significant problems they see in their low-income client community.
Advocacy Support for Low-Income People and Those who Assist them - CCJ can provide information and analysis on proposed policy changes and or advocacy. CCJ can help inform organizations about proposed changes and other policy developments that may impact their clients. Call or email us to sign up to receive alerts related to our anti-hunger advocacy, or other poverty-related issues.
Helping Low-Income People Share their Concerns with Policy Makers - If low-income people in our service area wish to tell policymakers their concerns about current or proposed laws, CCJ may be able to help them determine who to contact. In some cases, CCJ may be able to write a letter on their behalf explaining their concerns. Alternatively, CCJ can work with agencies and clients to train them how and when to speak up for themselves. It is recommended that agencies and advocates make the first contact with CCJ’s staff on behalf of the client.
Providing Information and Legal Assistance on Issues Impacting Low-Income People - If an agency, individual, or group identifies a legal problem that seems to affect a number of low-income people, or is the result of an apparently illegal policy or practice, CCJ may be able to take legal action. CCJ is able to file class-action lawsuits and challenge illegal policies instituted as a part of state or federal welfare reform – areas where federally funded legal services programs may be unable to act.
Working with Community Groups and Coalitions to Develop Advocacy Strategies - CCJ may be able to provide technical assistance to groups and coalitions that are interested in state-level policies and improving the opportunities for low-income people to become self-sufficient. CCJ’s staff may be able to help groups working to benefit low-income people and identify specific strategies to address the issues at the state or local level. These strategies may include legislative advocacy, community education and media outreach.