Central California Legal Services looking to expand reach under new leadership

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New Executive Director Patience Milrod helped work on Fresno Mayor Lee Brand's Rental Housing Improvement Act. (KFSN)

Central California Legal Services offers the poor equal access to legal advice on issues ranging from medical debt to special education.

"Approximately 70 to 80-percent of the people that contact this program are calling about housing issues. So either they complained about conditions, they're getting evicted retalitorily or their place isn't safe and decent," said Patience Milrod, CCLS Executive Director.

New Executive Director Patience Milrod helped work on Fresno Mayor Lee Brand's Rental Housing Improvement Act.

"Now he's going to need to enforce that and so here I am in a place where I can help make sure that happens."

CCLS Board President Gregory Gillett said the under-served need much more than advice and assistance in filling out forms.

"I think there's a general trend towards being, enabling litigants to take matters to court and have them heard."

CCLS relies heavily on federal funding and so many clients qualify for grant aid. Milrod hopes to expand the program's reach.

"Think legal services haven't really kept up. It's done a lot of good work for people on a very micro level, sort of one case at a time that helps one person at a time."

In her new position Milrod returns to where she launched her legal career as a staff attorney in 1980 when CCLS was known as Fresno-Merced Legal Services.

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