Fundraiser at Detroit Zoo helps legal clinic provide services to people in need

When Mario McCree needed help with his legal troubles two years ago, he found assistance from a clinic that makes sure people get legal aid, even if they cannot afford it.

"It weighs on you, and you don't see a way out," he said. "This program is definitely a godsend." 

When he felt like he had no help, the court clerk suggested he contact the William Booth Legal Aid Clinic.

"You leave here and be able to move forward and what more could you ask for," McCree said.

The clinic provides help for hundreds of people a year.

"I like to say we're small but mighty," said Amy Roemer, the clinic director. "About 1,400 to 1,500 individuals a year."

They have just three attorneys working out of the Salvation Army's Harbor Light facility.

"Mostly what comes through our door is family related - so divorce, parenting time, custody, child support, paternity issues, but we also help people with financial exploitation issues like credit debt issues, domestic violence victims, and of course - veterans," Roemer said. "It is just amazing to know the work that we're doing is actually touching people and changing their lives and really making a difference. I like to say besides providing legal services we provide our clients with hope."

The clinic, founded in 1994, helps people living at or below the poverty line. It's a free service for people who otherwise may not be able to afford a lawyer.

"I am thriving in a career and in school full-time, and I'm just looking forward for the next steps," McCree said.

The attorneys here would not be able to provide this assistance without funding. Their big fundraiser, Walk for Justice, is at 8 a.m. Saturday at the Detroit Zoo.

"We have a not to be missed silent auction, we have music, we have food, we have magic, we have all sorts of things. It's a great event," Roemer said.

Get tickets here.