2016 Equal Justice Works Fellow, Cherilyn Hansen

Cherilyn Hansen

Name of Host Organization: Gulfcoast Legal Services
City, State: St. Petersburg, Florida
Issue area: Veterans' Rights
Sponsors: Greenberg Traurig, LLP; Florida Bar Foundation

The Project

Ensure homeless and low-income veterans in Tampa Bay, Florida have access to the legal system through community outreach, direct client representation, and legal advocacy.

The Inspiration

Need Addressed By Project: 
Florida has the second highest population of homeless veterans in the country and St. Petersburg has the highest number in the state. A major contributing factor to veterans living in poverty is their inability to navigate the often tricky VA system, which, due to the huge number of claims, has been scandalized in the news with reports of losing veterans’ claims and making veterans wait years to receive disability compensation benefits.
The Right Person For This Project: 
Cherilyn is the right person for the project because:
• She has worked with Stetson Law’s Veterans Advocacy Clinic and personally represented veterans in their disability claims and appeals
• She has worked for Gulfcoast Legal Services as an intern throughout law school, representing homeless and low-income clients
• She feels strongly about helping her community and creating lasting medical-legal partnerships to find veterans who need legal assistance

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