Pepperdine Caruso Law Legal Aid Clinic Partners with the Los Angeles City Attorney's Homeless and Engagement Response Team
The Pepperdine Caruso Law Legal Aid Clinic, directed by Professor Brittany Stringfellow-Otey, is partnering with the Los Angeles City Attorney's HEART (Homeless Engagement and Response Team) in an effort to virtually connect people experiencing homelessness with critical legal services that can no longer be easily accessed on the ground. Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer supports an innovative Homeless Court Program through a grant from the County of Los Angeles, which enables qualified homeless individuals or at-risk individuals an opportunity to resolve infraction citations. These citations and fines can be debilitating to individuals attempting to recover from homelessness and reenter society.
Prior to COVID-19, the Los Angeles City Attorney's Office was able to connect eligible individuals with the Los Angeles County Homeless Court Program through Homeless Ticket Citation Clinics. However, the onset of COVID-19 has made on-the-ground legal clinics more challenging. In response, the HEART team, directed by Deputy City Attorney Gina Di Dominco, invited and trained Pepperdine Legal Aid Clinic students to act as a conduit between homeless individuals seeking housing and job opportunities and the City Attorney's vital program. The Pepperdine Legal Aid Clinic enrolled its first clients in HEART in September.