Since 2009 the CT Veterans Legal Center, a grantee of Liberty Bank Foundation, has offered vital and free legal assistance to veterans in need, all from a single office that would be lucky if it was 10 x 10. It was co-located with West Haven’s Errera Community Care Center for vets, which allows vets easy access and one-stop visiting for a wide assortment of needs. While the center itself is expansive, the legal center previously occupied a windowless spot furnished with two desks, several chairs, a file cabinet, a fridge, and little privacy. Recent building upgrades mean that the eight-member staff now has the space they need to efficiently and privately consult with clients, plus windows!
Carolyn Harriston, the organization’s veteran liaison, is the welcoming face in the group’s new work area. She screens inquiries and gets vets to the right source of support. Overall, the center’s medical-legal partnership creates opportunities for teamwork between VA social workers, psychologists, psychiatrists, CVLC staff and legal volunteers to help address the, many times, complex issues confronting their clients.
Check out the before and after shots, with all staff crowded into the old location and then the nearly equal size new space occupied solely by the welcome desk.