Posted: December 6th, 2016 | By: Paul Garber
The Pro Bono Project’s expungements program was featured in the Winston-Salem Monthly article, “Samaritan Celebrates 35 Years,” writtenby Paul Garber and published on Nov. 28, 2016. An excerpt follows:
In addition to its standing shelter and soup kitchen, the Samaritan Ministries, an interdenominational Christian, service-oriented ministry celebrating its 35th anniversary at its Winston-Salem location, finds new ways to serve the city’s indigent.
The Pro Bono Project’s expungements program, one of the programs associated with the ministry, helps individuals convicted of misdemeanors and felonies get convictions expunged from their records, allowing for more job opportunities and housing options. After training, law students work directly with clients to instruct them on eligibility for public benefits and help them with the expungement process.
“Clients can come to the ministry and talk to a WFU Law student about cleaning up their court records. A petty crime committed years ago may not seem like much, but to someone facing homelessness it can be the difference in getting a job or housing. The program has only been around since the start of last year’s academic year, and already about 100 cases have been expunged,” according to the article.
Students and clients will meet in the ministry’s new building, which built courtesy of a $4 million capital campaign. Also housed in the new building are the following additions, according to the article: the shelter’s HOT Program and a counseling service with Wake Forest Baptist’s Department of Psychiatry.