ULwesibili, Meyi 31 bekuwusuku olukhethekile: 45 PSLSth isikhumbuzo! Kuningi esikufezile phakathi neminyaka yethu yokuqala engama-45 futhi sazibonakalisa sihlakaniphile futhi sinobuhlakani ekuphenduleni izinselele njengoba siye sahlala sizinikele emkhankasweni wethu wokunikeza ukufinyelela okulinganayo kwezobulungiswa nokubhekana nezinkinga zomthetho ezithinta izidingo eziyisisekelo zamaklayenti.

I-Prairie State Legal Services (PSLS) yasungulwa ngo-1977 ngokuhlanganiswa kwezinhlelo ezinhlanu zosizo lwezomthetho lwenhlangano yamabha ezitholakala eKane, Lake, McLean, Peoria, naseWinnebago Counties. Lokhu kuhlanganiswa kugqugquzelwe yithuba lokufaka isicelo soxhaso lwezimali enhlanganweni esanda kusungulwa, i-Legal Services Corporation (LSC). I-PSLS iqale ukusebenza ngamahhovisi amahlanu kuphela (i-Bloomington, i-Peoria, i-Rockford, i-St. Charles, ne-Waukegan), abameli abangu-15, izikhulu zezomthetho ezintathu, kanye noyedwa noma ababili abeseka ihhovisi ngalinye. Phakathi neminyaka emibili, i-PSLS yavula amahhovisi e-Kankakee, e-Ottawa, nase-Wheaton, evumela uhlelo ukuthi lusize amakhasimende hhayi kuphela eDuPage County, kodwa kwinani elikhulu lezifunda zasemaphandleni ezingenazo izinhlelo zosizo lwezomthetho. Ngokushesha ukuhlanganiswa nohlelo losizo lwezomthetho e-Rock Island kwengeza ihhovisi lapho, futhi kamuva ukuhlanganiswa nezinhlelo e-Galesburg kanye ne-Will County ekugcineni kwanweba umkhondo we-PSLS endaweni yethu yamanje yesevisi yezifunda ezingu-36.

Eminyakeni yokuqala, uxhaso oluningi lwePSLS lwaluvela kuLSC. Kodwa-ke, cishe ngokushesha ngemva kokusungulwa, i-LSC yaba isihloko senkulumompikiswano enkulu kuKhongolose. Nakuba i-LSC igcine umnyombo wokusekelwa kwezinhlangothi ezimbili, uxhaso luye lwashintshashintsha kakhulu ngemikhawulo eyahlukene kanye nemithethonqubo emisha ngokusetshenziswa kwalezo zimali. Nokho, ngokuncishiswa kwezimali ngakunye, i-PSLS ikwazile ukubuya ngamandla. I-PSLS ibonakale ihlakaniphile futhi inobuhlakani ekuphenduleni izinselele, ukuze iqhubeke nomsebenzi wayo wokunikeza ukufinyelela okulinganayo kwezobulungiswa nokubhekana nezinkinga zomthetho ezithinta izidingo eziyisisekelo zamaklayenti.

Inselele yokuqala enkulu yafika ngo-1981 lapho uKhongolose wehlisa isabelomali sombuso we-LSC cishe ngamaphesenti angama-25; futhi ngaphezu kwalokho, iCongress yayala ukuthi amaphesenti angu-10 aleyo mali asetshenziselwe ukukhuthaza ukubandakanyeka kwebha yangasese kusizo lwezomthetho. Ngaphansi kobuholi boMqondisi Omkhulu owasungula uJoe Dailing, i-PSLS yasabela futhi yaba namandla. I-PSLS ijwayelane nokwehliswa kwezimali ngokubeka phambili amacala ukuze kuqinisekiswe ukuthi izinsizakalo zinomthelela omuhle kakhulu kumakhasimende. Amabutho ethu amabili okuqala, Ezezindlu kanye Nemihlomulo Yomphakathi, ahlangana ukuze abelane ngolwazi, futhi ahlonze izidingo ezibalulekile zamaklayenti kanye nezindlela ezingcono kakhulu zokuhlangabezana nazo. Sasebenzisa ubuchwepheshe ukuze siphumelele kakhudlwana—yize ubuchwepheshe basekuqaleni kwawo-1980 budala ngokwezindinganiso zanamuhla. Saqala ubudlelwano obukhiqiza kakhulu nezinhlangano zabameli basendaweni ukuze sisungule pro bono amaphrojekthi noma ukwandisa amaphrojekthi akhona, futhi amavolontiya abe yingxenye ebalulekile yokulethwa kwezidingo zethu. Kwasiza ukuba nabameli abancane, futhi, njengoba balethe amandla anengqondo enhlanganweni. I-PSLS yaqala umzamo omkhulu wokufuna uxhaso lwezimali kwa-United Ways, ukwehlisa ukuncika kwethu ekuxhasweni nguhulumeni, futhi lolu hlelo lwaba umholi kazwelonke phakathi kwezinhlelo zosizo lwezomthetho ekutholeni ukwesekwa kwendawo. Sifune nolunye uxhaso, okuhlanganisa ukwesekwa kwe-Title III/Older Americans Act kanye noxhaso lwe-Community Development Block Grant (“CDBG”).

Inselele enkulu elandelayo kwaba yiNkontileka neMelika ngo-1996; ICongress iphinde yehlisa uxhaso lwe-LSC, kulokhu ngamaphesenti angama-33. Imikhawulo eyengeziwe ekusetshenzisweni kwezimali yakha enye iqoqo lezinselele, kodwa i-PSLS yaphendula ngokuzikhandla nangobuciko. Naphezu kokwehliswa kwabasebenzi, i-PSLS yethule uhlelo lokwelulekwa ngocingo ukuze kuqinisekiswe ukutholakala kwezinsiza. Le sevisi inikeza iseluleko sezomthetho kumakhasimende ukuze akwazi ukubhekana nezindaba eziphuthumayo, asingathe amacala ngokwawo, noma afunde ngezinye izinsiza ezingasiza. Inkonzo yokwelulekwa iphinde yenze umsebenzi wokunquma nokuthatha, ukukhomba izimo ezethula izidingo eziphuthumayo ezidinga izinsiza ezengeziwe ezivela emahhovisi endawo. Ukwehliswa kwezimali ze-LSC kwagqamisa isidingo sokwengezwa okwengeziwe kokwesekwa. Impendulo: Umkhankaso Wezinsizakalo Zezomthetho, umzamo wontanga obandakanya amalungu ebha yangasese. Umgomo wethu wokuqala owawulangazelela kwakuwukuthola u-$1 million eminyakeni emithathu yokuqala, umgomo esacishe sawufeza. Namuhla, Lo Mkhankaso usaqhubeka nokuhlinzeka ngemali engenayo ebalulekile ezinsizakalweni zokusekela kumakhasimende.

Kuyo yonke iminyaka yokuqala, i-PSLS iye yandisa ukusebenza kahle futhi yasabela ezidingweni zamakhasimende asafufusa kanye nezinkinga. Owake waba nguMqondisi wethu Omkhulu, uMike O'Connor, owaqhuba ubuholi obubheke phambili bukaJoe Dailing, wasebenzisa ubuchwepheshe ukuze usize amakhasimende amaningi ngokuphumelelayo ngokuvula ukudla ku-inthanethi. Sifake isicelo sezibonelelo ezizinikele ukuze sisekele amaphrojekthi esihlosiwe. Ukusabela enkingeni yokudliwa kwezindlu ezibolekiwe safuna izimali zesibonelelo sikahulumeni ukuze sisungule futhi sisekele Uhlelo lwethu Losizo Lwezomthetho Lwabanikazi Bezindlu, ukumela abanikazi bezindlu ababhekene nokudliwa. Le phrojekthi ibidinga abasebenzi ukuthi bafunde umthetho wokuthengwa kwempahla kusukela phansi futhi ivimbele ukudliwa kanye nokungabi namakhaya kwamakhasimende amaningi. I-Fair Housing Project yethu imele amakhasimende ezifundeni eziyisithupha futhi ihlanganisa ukuhlolwa nokuphoqelela. I-Low Income Tax Clinic yethu imele amakhasimende anezingxabano ze-IRS, okuhlanganisa izisulu zodlame lwasekhaya ezifuna impumuzo yabalingane abangenacala noma ukuxazululwa kwezinkinga zekhredithi ye-Earned Income Tax. Uhlelo lwethu olusha lwe-Ready to Work Project lukhuthaza amakhasimende anezithiyo zokuqashwa, njengamalayisense okushayela ahoxisiwe noma amarekhodi okuboshwa. Izimali Ezintsha ZoMthetho Wezisulu Zobugebengu zisenze sakwazi ukuqasha abameli abasha abazomela izisulu zodlame lwasekhaya abadinga imiyalelo yokuvikelwa nokumelwa ezindabeni ezihlukahlukene ezihlobene.

Namuhla, i-PSLS iholwa uMqondisi Omkhulu omusha u-Denise E. Conklin futhi iqashe abasebenzi abangaphezu kuka-200. Umsebenzi wethu wenezelwa ibutho elibonakalayo lamavolontiya futhi usekelwa abantu ngabanye kuzo zonke izifunda zethu ezingu-36, kanye nemithombo yoxhaso engaphezu kuka-100.

Siyaziqhenya ukugubha ingqopha-mlando yethu yeminyaka engama-45 nabasebenzi bethu, amaklayenti, abasekeli kanye nozakwethu. Simi emahlombe aqinile esikhathi esedlule njengoba sigxile lapho siya khona ngokulandelayo. Siyabonga ngokusiza ukwenza i-Prairie State ibe yinhle manje namashumi eminyaka ezayo!