By: Oliver Angert (Reporter ‘24)
Episcopal Legal Aid is an organization that provides free legal aid to people who need it in Philadelphia. Over the past year, they have met with 170 people and helped them out with all of their legal issues. They provide legal services for any kind of civil problem people might have, including, but not limited to, family law, evictions and rent issues, wills and medical debt, and real estate. Episcopal Legal Aid does not take on criminal cases. The reason I am writing about Episcopal Legal Aid is because Ms. Novo’s husband, Steve Chawaga, is the founding director and helps the low income areas of the Philadelphia community.
Episcopal Legal Aid is very different from other legal organizations because they do not have an office building that people can go to; lawyers go to places that are accessible to their clients, like churches. To receive help, all people need to do is set up an appointment. Episcoal Legal Aid provides a different environment because it feels like anyone who needs their help can get it within their local community at a place where they feel comfortable.
Episcopal Legal Aid also partners with several churches and food banks in and around Philadelphia to help out low income families in other ways. It’s good to know that a member of the Friends’ Central community is taking part in the social justice work of Philadelphia and its surrounding communities.