The Center for Civil Justice advocates for people in Michigan who need help meeting their basic needs. CCJ uses legal expertise, informed by the experiences of low-income people, to monitor and improve public policy and access to governmental programs and services.
CCJ does not provide direct representation for individual clients. All of CCJ’s work is focused on broad, systemic change. By engaging in social justice advocacy and class action impact litigation, CCJ provides the most vulnerable people in Michigan with a voice and with access to the resources that form Michigan’s social safety net.
First, CCJ identifies social issues that systemically and primarily harm people who have little or no income. Then, CCJ strategically addresses those issues in order to resolve them for thousands of people at a time. CCJ often collaborates with direct service providers to identify and address significant emerging issues that can be overcome systemically through advocacy, thus avoiding the need for litigation. Pursuant to those relationships, CCJ might provide legal and technical assistance, training and education, as needed to achieve the objective.
CCJ is based in the primary service area of LSEM, Legal Services of Eastern Michigan. CCJ establishes the foundations of its work in the counties of Arenac, Bay, Clare, Genesee, Gladwin, Gratiot, Huron, Isabella, Lapeer, Midland, Saginaw, St Clair, Sanilac and Tuscola. The issues raised are overwhelmingly statewide in nature, thus impacting all of Michigan. CCJ also lends its expertise in law and public policy to service providers, advocates and legislators throughout Michigan.
HEALTHCARE ELIGIBILITY LAW PROJECT - CCJ’s Healthcare Eligibility Law Project (HELP) provides low-income people in Genesee County access to governmental health insurance programs. It also monitors and corrects errors in eligibility calculations, policies and practices. (HELP hotline: 810-238-8053)
HEALTHCARE – CCJ collaborates with advocates in the healthcare sector to ensure they have the knowledge and resources necessary to serve low-income patients and clients in compliance with state and federal healthcare laws. CCJ is a member of the Medical Care Advisory Council, which advises the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services on policy issues related to Medicaid.
HUNGER – CCJ monitors state laws, policies, and procedures related to welfare-to-work and hunger programs. CCJ shares its findings and concerns with state officials and the human services community. CCJ uses informal advocacy wherever possible and, when necessary, engages in litigation to ensure that state and local agencies provide food and nutrition resources to every person for whom such programs are created.
HOUSING & UTILITIES– CCJ advocates for the housing needs and utility rights of people who have little income. CCJ challenges predatory lending practices, housing-related fraud, and epidemic foreclosures. CCJ also monitors subsidized housing and utility policies. It identifies weaknesses and failures in the system, then compels compliance with provisions that are intended to support the needs and rights of low-income individuals and families.
EDUCATION & DISABILITY - CCJ monitors federal and state education laws in comparison with the agencies and schools that provide educational services. CCJ addresses failures to meet the educational standards set by law or to provide mandated support services and accommodations for students with special needs.
LANGUAGE ACCESS – CCJ advocates to ensure that language is not a barrier in access to social safety net programs like healthcare, education, legal representation, and others.
TRAINING AND TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE - CCJ provides training and technical assistance to legal services, anti-hunger and health advocates, human services, and faith-based organizations, so that they can ensure their clients know about and receive the critical safety net services for which they are eligible.
Thank you for helping to provide the legal and advocacy services that would otherwise be inaccessible to our most vulnerable neighbors.
To donate directly to CCJ, go to the "Donate" tab above.
To donate to the Access to Justice Campaign, use the DONATE NOW link on our sidebar.