Providing Hope to a Client in Critical Condition

Posted on: December 18, 2018

On a cold and stormy evening, Mr. Turner sat alone in the dark in a rusty, old wheelchair wondering what he could do to improve his life. His deteriorating home was owned by his family and lacked electricity, running water, and proper insulation to keep him warm at night. Aside from allowing him to live there, his family wanted nothing to do with him.

Mr. Turner struggled to make a living for himself. He worked countless hours in a series of manual labor jobs – cutting grass, digging ditches, and working in restaurants. He rarely earned more than minimum wage. While he barely managed to make ends meet, Mr. Turner hoped for a better future.

Sadly though, things took a turn and got even worse. Mr. Turner seriously hurt his left foot in an accident. Because he couldn’t afford health insurance or out-of-pocket medical costs, he didn’t go to the doctor. Left untreated, his injury got infected – he faced a serious risk of amputation. To avoid putting pressure on his infected leg, Mr. Turner used a wheelchair to get around in.

His injury and infection became more and more painful over time. Eventually, it was so bad, he could no longer work full time. He had nowhere else to go, had no job prospects, and believe there was no one who would help him. He felt hopeless.

Thankfully staff at the One Stop Homeless Services Center in Baton Rouge referred Mr. Turner for a civil legal aid assessment at SLLS’ on-site legal clinic. After listening to Mr. Turner, our attorney determined that he might qualify for Social Security benefits. We helped him file his application and represented him throughout the several months long application process. We also helped him get Medicaid and connected him to doctors and medical transportation so he could finally get treatment for his conditions.

We were thrilled when we learned that Social Security approved Mr. Turner’s application. With these benefits, Mr. Turner now has a small monthly income and continued access to Medicaid so he can keep getting the medical care he needs.

Several months after we closed the case, Mr. Turner dropped by our clinic to check in on his attorney. She learned that Mr. Turner’s health had improved tremendously. And now he’s fixing up his family’s property so he will have a safe and warm home to live in this holiday season.

Your generous support ensures that people like Mr. Turner have access to attorneys who will listen, who think holistically and connect them to other services they need, and who fight tirelessly for their legal rights. Thank you!

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