CENTRAL CALIFORNIA LEGAL SERVICES INC

Justice Equity Power

aka CCLS   |   Fresno, CA   |  www.centralcallegal.org

Mission

To Advance Justice and Empower People.

Ruling year info

1967

Executive Director

Ms. Patience Milrod

Main address

2115 Kern Street, Suite 200

Fresno, CA 93721 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

94-1631809

NTEE code info

Legal Services (I80)

Civil Rights, Advocacy for Specific Groups (R20)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

CCLS seeks to advance justice and empower people by providing high quality civil legal services, improving the wellbeing of our communities through systems-changing advocacy, as well as through civil legal work that meets individual clients’ immediate needs, fighting social injustice and protecting the rights of individuals, groups, and communities.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Civil Legal Services

Central California Legal Services was founded in 1966. Its service area includes Fresno, Kings, Tulare, Merced, Tuolumne, and Mariposa Counties, an area roughly the size of the state of West Virginia. This region is unique in California because of its rural nature, and the need to serve a population that is spread across a large geographic area. These counties share similar characteristics in terms of high levels of poverty, lack of education, domestic violence issues, high medical debt, and environmental pollution.

CCLS provides individual legal representation and educational services as well as wider-impact representation in affirmative cases in civil matters to eligible low-income individuals in these six counties with limited services to seniors in Madera County. In addition, through a partnership with the statewide Health Consumer Alliance, CCLS serves residents in the counties of Madera, San Luis Obispo, Stanislaus, Monterey and San Benito regarding their specific health care concerns.

Clients may access legal services at the offices (phone or in-person intake), at legal clinics and through outreach and community education workshops that inform the eligible community of their rights and the available services. Outreach efforts are augmented by extensive use of local ethnic media (print, radio and television) and with printed materials distributed area-wide through educational workshops and at various activities such as cultural/ethnic events, health fairs and school and parent groups. Visitors to the CCLS website can access educational materials on matters such as tenants’ rights, elder abuse prevention and domestic violence restraining orders, debt collection, Social Security/SSI, and the Earned Income Tax Credit program (EITC).

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people
Ethnic and racial groups

Where we work

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Legal and economic problems are a direct result of the extreme poverty experienced by our clients which negatively impacts their well-being and safety. Legal issues – housing, employment, financial – place families at risk and are further complicated by barriers. People of color and low-wage workers are among those most affected by COVID 19. They face additional barriers - inadequate transportation, language, and little to no access to internet services.

Legal services are critical to navigating the legal system to prevent an eviction, secure protections for victims of domestic violence and to stabilize a family’s income. These families, without our assistance, find themselves at risk of losing their home as they struggle to provide for their families. Attorneys can preserve their rights and assist with additional services to support their household.

CCLS provides both legal representation and legal education to marginalized communities, addressing legal needs ranging from ensuring access to basic life necessities such as healthcare and housing, to protecting families and seniors from domestic violence or consumer fraud, to helping veterans overcome barriers to employment. We also work closely with agencies and community organizations that share our commitment to support low-income individuals, families, and communities in being their own agents of change.

To access services, individuals may call our Legal Advice and Referral Line (LAL), or visit one of our three offices located in the cities of Merced, Visalia, and Fresno (all physical offices are currently closed due to COVID-19 precautions but we are available by phone or online). An online intake portal, compatible with mobile phones, gives 80% of our client population an additional means to contact us for assistance.

Our teams are made up of highly skilled lawyers, paralegals and outreach individuals that educate clients, families and the community. CCLS staff of almost 90 reflects the Central Valley’s diversity, with capacity to serve clients in numerous languages including Spanish, Khmer, Lao, Mixteco,

Punjabi, and Hmong. CCLS is effective in reaching area residents in collaboration with community and faith-based organizations, area schools, colleges and universities, courts, and others.

CCLS is proud of its accomplishments on behalf of clients. The program assists victims of domestic violence and sexual assault with protective orders, custody and other civil legal matters. We stop illegal evictions from occurring in private or subsidized housing and advocate for correction of substandard housing conditions. Advocates help obtain assistance for people with disabilities. We restore and preserve public assistance grants and overcome denial of emergency assistance programs such as food stamps, disability or veterans' benefits. CCLS represents individuals regarding their employment rights including wage collection, discrimination and denial of benefits.

Financials

CENTRAL CALIFORNIA LEGAL SERVICES INC
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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CENTRAL CALIFORNIA LEGAL SERVICES INC

Board of directors
as of 4/14/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Mr. William McComas

Pascuzzi, Pascuzzi & Stoker

Term: 2016 -


Board co-chair

Ms. Maria Villasenor

Centro La Familia Advocacy Services

Term: 2011 -

Paul Thao

Lao Family of Merced

Maria Villasenor

Dolores Huerta Foundation

Teresa de la Rosa

OLA Raza

Lynette Gonzales

La Raza Lawyers Association

Darryl Young

Law Offices of Darryl E. Young

Pahoua Lor

Law Offices of Pahoua C. Lor

Armando Lope

Merced County Bar Association

Ponzella Brackens-Boissiere

Client Member

Laura Ward

Fresno County Bar Association

Martha Tamayo

Kings Community Action Organization

Virginia Harper

Community Representative

Michael Smith

Tulare County Bar Association

Samya Burney

Fresno County Bar Association

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 04/08/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Sexual orientation
Decline to state
Disability status
Decline to state

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data