Support access to justice at Dancing with the Stars of Charlotte


What does dancing have to do with justice? This spring, you can support access to justice in our community and enjoy an evening of dance when you purchase tickets and vote for Kobi Kennedy Brinson, a partner at Winston & Strawn LLP, dancing to benefit Legal Services of Southern Piedmont and Legal Aid of North Carolina-Charlotte in Charlotte Ballet‘s Dancing with the Stars of Charlotte gala on March 5th.

A former public defender and a current LSSP pro bono attorney, Kobi will partner with LSSP, LANC and Charlotte Ballet to benefit our community through the gala, combining her passion for ballet and helping people who need legal assistance to meet their basic needs.

Watch this behind-the-scenes video to learn more about why Kobi is dancing for justice.

Support access to justice by voting for Kobi and her Charlotte Ballet dancing partner Addul, and half of the funds raised from the team’s tickets and contributions will benefit LSSP and LANC-Charlotte!

Learn more and vote here.


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Free income tax preparation 2016


Dear Taxpayer,

It’s once again time to file your annual income tax return. However, don’t pay to have your
taxes prepared – go to a VITA site instead! The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) programs provide FREE income tax preparation for individuals and families who make less than $54,000 per year ($72,000 at AARP sites for those 60+). These sites operate between February and mid-April at sites all over North Carolina. Below is a list of sites that may be near you. If you do not live near any of these sites, call 1-800-906-9887 for a site closer to you.

Most sites also offer FREE electronic filing allowing you to get your refund within a few days to a few weeks. Don’t spend hundreds of dollars in fees for filing your tax return or getting an “instant refund” through a refund anticipation loan offered by many private tax preparation sites. Visit a VITA site and take advantage of their free services.

Even if you are not required to file a tax return, you should consider doing so. You may qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit* or the Child Tax Credit, each of which could be worth thousands of dollars this year!
*You do NOT have to have children to qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit.

VITA Sites Brochure 20162Mecklenburg County VITA Information_Page_1 Mecklenburg County VITA Information_Page_2

Condado de Mecklenburg – En Español

Mecklenburg flyers courtesy of Community Link

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Know your rights: private debt collectors and unpaid IRS taxes

Know Your Rights Vector







A five-year infrastructure spending bill recently passed by Congress and signed by President Obama included a provision allowing private debt collectors to collect unpaid IRS taxes.

Know your rights; this article discusses what these private debt collectors can and cannot do, and what your rights are.

Learn more about our tax work through LSSP’s Western NC Low Income Taxpayer Clinic.


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Apply to be a Fund Development and Communications ZSR Intern at LSSP by 2.2.16!

Fund Development and Communications Intern 2016

Through the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation Non-Profit Internship Program, LSSP is seeking a Fund Development and Communications Intern for the summer of 2016.

The Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation believes summer internships offer a crucial pathway to future employment and experience for the next generation of nonprofit leaders. However, the universality of unpaid internships in the nonprofit sector often creates financial hurdles for students to participate in such experiential learning.

In an effort to diversify the pool of young nonprofit professionals in North Carolina, ZSR established the Non-Profit Internship Program (NPIP) in 2011. (Note: This is distinctly different from ZSR’s Summer Internship Program.) Each summer, the program awards up to 20 college and university students, enrolled in four-year institutions across the state, with paid internships at ZSR-grantee organizations that are working to advance the Foundation’s values in the areas of Community Economic Development, Public Education, Social Justice & Equity, Environment, and/or Strengthening Democracy. Participating organizations receive student applications from ZSR and interview applicants directly. Organizations that match with an intern are confirmed through ZSR and interns begin work with the organization in June.

Learn more about the ZSR Non-Profit Internship Program.

About the internship at LSSP: The intern will work on projects related to LSSP’s fund development efforts. These projects include the following: 1) assisting with our 2016-2017 annual campaign by updating data, preparing reports and documents and participating in campaign planning, messaging and strategy, 2) assisting with logistics, sponsorship solicitation, publicity and materials for the 2016 Pro Bono Awards, a volunteer recognition event for 300 guests in the fall, 3) preparation for events and activities to mark LSSP’s 50th anniversary in 2017, 4) assisting with grants, including prospect research and preparation of reports, and 5) assisting with outward-facing communication strategy, including newsletters and social media.

The intern will work closely and collaboratively with experienced development staff who understand and value experiential learning opportunities and are committed to serving as mentors. We will provide the intern with a thorough orientation to LSSP and the role of the fund development team within the organization, as well as the relevance of the projects to which he or she is assigned. We will ensure that the internship is structured such that the student gains valuable hands-on experience by working on well-defined and meaningful projects as a member of our development team, and receives the necessary training to successfully complete the projects.

Learn more and apply here by February 2, 2016!



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Meet our newest staff!


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Help us welcome our newest staff members to the LSSP team!


From left to right:
- Jenny Harding, graduate of Dartmouth, joins us as our new Grants and Annual Fund Manager.
- Bethany Palmer, graduate of The George Washington University Law School and The George Washington University, joins us as an Equal Justice Works justice AmeriCorps Attorney for our Safe Child Immigrant Project.
- Meghan Starnes, graduate of West Virginia University College of Law and The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, also joins us as an Equal Justice Works justice AmeriCorps Attorney for our Safe Child Immigrant Project.


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HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell Visits Charlotte, LSSP enrollment event

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Protecting the health of individuals is important to LSSP as we work to end the cycle of poverty for our clients and in our community, which is why we are so proud of our Health Insurance Navigator Project. On December 11, we were honored to host U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Sylvia Burwell in Charlotte as she visited our office, observed LSSP Navigator and partner enrollment efforts, and spoke with our staff about their work. Thank you for visiting, Secretary Burwell!

View more photos from Secretary Burwell’s visit.

Learn more about our Health Insurance Navigator Project.


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Thank you for making #GivingTuesdayCLT a success!

GivingTuesday Banner LSSP 2

We’re grateful for your support during #GivingTuesdayCLT!

Together, we raised more than


for Access to Justice
during #GivingTuesdayCLT!

The entire Charlotte community responded with amazing generosity for #GivingTuesdayCLT, raising $4.2 million for LSSP and 107 other local nonprofits!

Of that total, more than $15,000 were gifts from you to LSSP to benefit those in need of justice. Thank you for giving and making #GivingTuesdayCLT a huge success for our community!


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Join us TODAY for #GivingTuesdayCLT!

Join LSSP in a community-wide collaboration for good.

Today, on the final day of the #GivingTuesdayCLT celebration, we invite you to join Legal Services of Southern Piedmont, SHARE Charlotte and 107 other local nonprofits for #GivingTuesdayCLT, a community-wide collaboration for the good of our neighbors!

Give justice today by giving a gift – money, time, supplies – to support Access to Justice in our community.

Who is your gift for?

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When Dorothy became a victim of identity theft, a LSSP attorney helped her save her home and livelihood.

Why give justice?

Mark Merritt Donor GivingTuesday 2015

Mark Merritt, LSSP board member & attorney at Robinson Bradshaw & Hinson, P.A., has been a lead supporter of LSSP for 30 years.  

Give justice for #GivingTuesdayCLT

Make a donation

Volunteer your time 

Shop our Wish List


P.S.  Any financial gift given today will be partially matched with $50,000 in matching funds donated to the #GivingTuesdayCLT collaboration of Charlotte nonprofits by the Knight Foundation, Bank of America, Foundation For The Carolinas, the Reemprise Fund and presenting sponsor Google Fiber.


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Hunger in North Carolina


With holiday celebrations around the corner, hunger remains an unfortunate reality for many in the Charlotte area and statewide. In fact, North Carolina has the 9th highest level of food insecurity in the nation, and 16.7% of North Carolinians lack the resources they need to get enough nutritious food for a healthy life. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, or food stamps) plays a critical role in helping individuals and families afford food; however, beginning next year, these critical benefits will become more difficult for many to receive.

Beginning January 1, 2016, childless, non-disabled adults living in 23 N.C. counties, including Mecklenburg, will be limited to three months of SNAP benefits in a three-year period if they are not able to find work, volunteer or job training activities totaling at least 20 hours per week. These same changes are coming to the rest of North Carolina by July 2016. This means that thousands of Mecklenburg County’s poorest residents will be cut off from SNAP early next year. Research suggests that many of those cut off face serious hardship, with some being on the brink of homelessness.

The availability of a safety net affects us all. The return of the SNAP time limit means food banks and pantries will see increased demand, shelters may see an increase in need as people skip rent to put food on the table, and medical providers may see more of their most vulnerable patients forgo medications to buy food, especially since our state government declined Medicaid expansion.

The SNAP time limit is complex and challenging to administer. We remain committed to working with other stakeholders to ensure these changes are implemented fairly and accurately, and that those who are either working or exempt are not wrongfully denied. As always, individuals facing obstacles accessing food stamps or other benefits are invited to contact us.

Learn more about who is exempt from the three-month limit with this screening tool and informational flyer.

For more information on this policy change, check the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities report.


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Join LSSP for #GivingTuesdayCLT 2015


Legal Services of Southern Piedmont is excited to invite you to participate in the global #GivingTuesday movement on December 1! Join LSSP, SHARE Charlotte and 107 other local nonprofits for #GivingTuesdayCLT, a community-wide collaboration for the good of our neighbors!

Between now and December 1, we’re asking Charlotte and beyond to give justice by giving a gift – money, time, supplies – to support Access to Justice. Supporting the Access to Justice Campaign means giving justice to those who need it most, people in our community who are survivors of violence, families in need and our veterans. You can give them the critical legal assistance they need to access security and opportunity by joining LSSP for #GivingTuesdayCLT.

As a bonus, any financial gift given between now and December 1 will be partially matched with $50,000 in matching funds donated to the #GivingTuesdayCLT collaboration of Charlotte nonprofits by the Knight Foundation, Bank of America, Foundation For The Carolinas, the Reemprise Fund and presenting sponsor Google Fiber.

And if you give a gift of $1,000 or more between now and December 1, you’ll be included in our Leadership Donors List publicized in December!

Join us in celebrating giving!

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