2016 Equal Justice Works Fellow, Ruby Renteria

Ruby Renteria

Name of Host Organization: Law Foundation of Silicon Valley
City, State: San Jose, California
Issue area: Housing/Homelessness
Sponsors: The Morrison & Foerster Foundation

The Project

Increase access to justice for geographically isolated, low-income tenants facing eviction in South Santa Clara County, particularly those who are Limited English Proficient Spanish-speakers.

The Inspiration

Need Addressed By Project: 
When faced when homelessness, thousands of Santa Clara County tenants will not have access to justice. After being served with unlawful detainer complaints, tenants often have to navigate the legal system without the assistance of legal counsel. Many of these tenants will have to do so in a language they don’t understand. Approximately 4,137 unlawful detainer actions are filed against tenants every year. Of those unlawful detainer actions, over 2,000 will result in default judgment.
The Right Person For This Project: 
Ruby is the right person for the project because:
• She has interned with the Law Foundation of Silicon Valley for over two years where she currently advocates on behalf of low-income tenants
• She grew up in a low-income, monolingual Spanish-speaking home where she experienced, first hand, some of the injustices faced by low-income tenants
• She developed a unique expertise in direct client services while working for California Rural Legal Assistance, Inc.

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