Foundation awards grant to LSA to promote Advocacy
By Desiree Taylor
The Barbara McDowell and Gerald S. Hartman Foundation recently awarded Legal Services Alabama with a $25,000 grant to assist low-income individuals whose government food stamps were wrongfully discontinued for the past two years.
As one of six recipients to receive the prestigious honor totaling $150,000, the award will help LSA in pursuing a case against the Department of Human Resources to properly inform people of possible exemptions to the ABAWD rules and changing of policies in regards to how those rules affect clients.
Larry Gardella, former LSA Director of Advocacy and retired longtime advocate, is spearheading the project with LSA Attorneys Michael Forton, Director of Advocacy; Felecia Pettway, Managing Attorney in the Selma office; and Mary Jane Oakley, Staff Attorney in the Dothan office.
The award, Forton stated, is a testament to the great work LSA continues to do for persons of low-income.
“LSA focuses on making an impact in the lives of as many low-income Alabamians as we can,” Forton said. “The McDowell grant represents a great opportunity to continue doing what LSA does best – fighting for our clients … it’s a great honor to be recognized alongside some of the most well-known public interest law organizations in the nation.”
Jaffe Pickett, Interim Executive Director and Director of Development and Strategic Partnerships, stated the award will help with advocacy.
“LSA is grateful to the Barbara McDowell and Gerald Hartman Foundation for funding to support our advocacy,” Pickett said. “The Foundation’s award will enhance our advocacy efforts to help poor and vulnerable clients with public benefits.”
Established in 2009, The Barbara McDowell and Gerald S. Hartman Foundation aims to improve the economic well-being and social conditions of disadvantaged persons and groups throughout the United States. The Foundation grants funds to tax-exempt organizations that promote the Foundation’s mission through litigation designed to have systemic impact in the areas of civil rights, low income housing, political asylum, domestic violence, immigration, children’s rights, and voting rights among others.
According to a statement on the organization’s website, “The Foundation looks forward to working with each of these worthy organizations as they fight to make our country a more just and equitable society for all people and groups.”
The 2018 award recipients include: Legal Services Alabama, Children’s Rights, Bazelon Center, The Public Interest Law Center, The Children’s Advocacy Institute, and The Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law.