Alejandro “Alex” Manuel Rodriguez

  • Hosted by Community Legal Services of Mid-Florida
  • Service location Orlando, Florida
  • Law school Florida International University College of Law
  • Fellowship class year 2014
  • Program AmeriCorps Fellows Program

The Project

Alex worked on the Veterans Legal Corps project, which works to improve the lives of veterans by resolving their unmet legal needs. An annual survey by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs consistently shows that legal needs are among the top unmet needs of homeless and low-income veterans. The project helps to provide legal assistance to many of these low-income and homeless veterans with issues related to health and disability benefits claims, barriers to housing and employment, debt, family law, and other legal issues.

Veterans are often a vulnerable group in the United States. After Vietnam, veterans returned home from a war that was no longer supported. Overshadowed by protests and political controversy, these service-members were ultimately forgotten, which led to high rates of poverty, drug use and homelessness.  This work is important to try and help empower these veterans to be successful in their communities.

Fellowship Highlights

Alex provided direct representation to low-income and homeless veterans and military families, and also help to train community partners. Additionally, Alex increased outreach to veterans’ organizations, female veterans in particular, homeless centers, and veterans courts, among other groups. Finally, Alex taught classes to veterans and those who support them, so that he could facilitate referrals and identify and help veterans at risk of becoming homeless before it happens.

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