Sarasota, FL –United Way of South Sarasota County (UWSSC) received funding from the Selby Foundation to open a new co-working office in south Sarasota County. The office building is in Venice and will be shared between UWSSC and Gulfcoast Legal Services (GLS), who serve similar client groups and have worked together in the past.
GLS received additional funding to provide four full-time staff members for the office, including a financial stability and housing attorney. The program will be supervised by long-time Sarasota resident and Deputy Director at GLS, Robin Stover, Esq. Ms. Stover has spent over a decade carrying out the GLS mission to provide free civil legal aid services to those in need all throughout Sarasota County. Her clients are able to avoid homelessness and stabilize their income with sometimes just a few hours of free legal assistance.
“Our new Venice office is the result of amazing forces working together – UWSSC and GLS, galvanized by President/CEO Barbara Cruz, and CEO Tammy Greer. As we move into 2022, we are excited to focus on serving our community, trusting the magic of this awesome beginning. Solutions will start here.” – Robin Stover, Deputy Director.
The idea for a Sarasota office surfaced after a year of heightened need due to the COVID-19 pandemic, during which GLS received five times the normal number of requests for assistance. Thousands of people who were negatively impacted by the pandemic are still being forced to choose between paying what little money they have for rent, food, transportation, internet or phone access so their children can attend school, paying for medicine, and making payments on debt. GLS will work with these clients to address housing issues such as eviction notices and financial stability issues such as creditor harassment, among other things, so families and individuals can stay in their homes and afford their basic necessities.
GLS is especially thankful to all funders involved, as well as their project partner, United Way of South Sarasota County. For more information, or to see if you are eligible for services, visit the GLS website at www.gulfcoastlegal.org.